Who Will Stop Azerbaijan’s Aggression?

Azerbaijan’s President İlham Aliyev inspects a military outpost on the Armenian-Azeri border

BY HRANT APOVIAN

Aggression (noun): Hostile or violent behavior or attitudes toward another, readiness to attack or confront.

On October 16, at 20 30 hours another Armenian defense force officer, senior commander of strategic planning, Captain Kevork Mnatzaganian was killed as a result of Azeri machine gun fire. Seriously injured were senior corporal Karoush Hampartsoumian, privates Nareg Hagopian and Edgar Haroutiounian. Over the last several years, over one hundred members of the Armenian Defense Forces were either killed or injured by Azeri border attacks or sniper fire.

The border attacks on Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia are not accidental incidents. They are part of a long standing political–military strategy of Azerbaijan, to keep the line of demarcation volatile, to test Armenian defense positions, and as a ploy to challenge and derail peace efforts by the O.S.C.E.

It is significant, that the attack occurred on the eve of an O.S.C.E. Mission scheduled to observe the line of contact on the two sides of the border in Hatrut. O.S.C.E representative Andrzej Kasprezyk suspended the monitoring for security considerations.

What is glaringly obvious, is that Azerbaijan’s aggressive behavior is revved up, whenever there is monitoring or prior to negotiating sessions. One was during then Secretary State Hillary Clinton’s visit to the region.

It is a fact that Azerbaijan is never held accountable and exposed for its violations. O.S.C.E. Representatives never accuse the aggressor. They resort to a non-committal call for restraint to the parties involved. This emboldens Azerbaijan even more. Its challenges to peace efforts remain unpunished.

Publicly, Armenian Defense Force communiqués – while mourning the loss of young conscripts- are satisfied with a laconic and vague pronouncement of a proper response repelling and punishing the aggressors.

Politically we are still waiting for world condemnation of Azerbaijan’s aggressive behavior. Rather, there is an effort to appease Azerbaijan, and to woo it back to the negotiating table. There is a stark effort not to alienate Azerbaijan.

Politically Armenia is reluctant to stop negotiations, while the killing of Armenian soldiers at the line of contact goes on unabated. With each loss of human life, one expects a response from the Armenian government that never materializes.

Negotiations were not suspended when Ramil Safarov, “The Ax Murderer”, was extradited to Azerbaijan and was welcomed as a hero.

They were not broken off while President Aliyev repeatedly threatened to attack Nagorno Karabakh with his mighty military arsenal. Finally they were kept alive when Azerbaijan tried to present Armenia as the aggressor in Muslim nation forums or at the United Nations, succeeding in passing anti-Armenia resolutions.

It seems that time is not in favor of a just resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh quest for independence.

Azerbaijan is amassing a formidable arsenal, outspending Armenia by two billion dollars a year.

Azerbaijan has no intention of coming to terms with Nagorno Karabakh independence.

The West is pampering Azerbaijan and overlooks its rigged presidential elections, turns a blind eye to human rights abuses, arrests of journalists, and opposition figures.

Azerbaijan is violating the terms of a cease fire that it is a signatory to.

What is unacceptable is the killing of young soldiers. It is a war crime to post snipers on the Azerbaijan – Nagorno Karabakh border, as if it were a shooting gallery.

Azerbaijan’s transgressions are extensive; they need to be exposed one by one:

1. There has to be worldwide condemnation of Azerbaijan’s aggressive posture and war crimes.

2. Azerbaijan needs to pull its snipers away from the contact line and stop the killing.

3. Azerbaijan has to adhere to its pledge made in Moscow of not resorting to a military solution.

4. Azerbaijan has to adhere to a pact of limiting military expenditures in the Caucasus.

5. Azerbaijan has to adhere to the Geneva Convention and give access to the International Red Cross to visit Armenian war prisoners and repatriate Armenian soldiers that are still being held.

6. Azerbaijan has to stop its anti-Armenian hateful rhetoric.

7. Azerbaijan has to stop presenting the Nagorno Karabakh conflict as a religious war to the Muslim world.

8. Azerbaijan has to stop its multimillion dollar lobbying effort in the United States to buy influence.

9. Azerbaijan has to stop blacklisting foreign officials that visit Nagorno Karabakh, or maybe it should continue to do so.

10. Finally, Azerbaijan must come to terms with the concept of self determination for a people that has lived there for centuries and was subjected to massacres and persecution by the Azeri Government.

The West should not remain silent; it has to force Azerbaijan to stop the killing.

The cease fire is a sham. The killing has to stop. We will not stand for this.

Azerbaijan is accountable for each Armenian soldier killed.

Armenia: neutralize the snipers or stop all negotiations…

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35 Comments

  1. Mihran said:

    We have to stop their aggression as the west will not lift a finger to stop it,its called oil and caviar diplomacy.

    Armenia needs to be more robust with their military and diplomatic actions which is sadly lacking to date.

    Its high time we changed our docile stance.

  2. Petrushka said:

    Who will stop Azeri aggression? The Armenian armed forces can stop the aggression. This sniper skirmish which is ongoing is being won by the Azeri forces. No one knows why our young braves are being taken out by sniper fire. Does the Armed forces have the capability to block sniper fire ? Does the armed forces have the capacity to retaliate in appropriate measure ? Either our defensive positions are not as strong as they are made out to be, or are we sitting passively and waiting for another young soldier to be picked off by sniper fire? Something has to be done to stop the aggression. The world will not condemn Azeri aggression, the world will not lift an index finger to reprimand Azeries, nor should anyone nurture dreams of Azeries stopping their multimillion dollar drive to buy influence in USA. We are in a state of war, albeit in a ceasefire, ceasefire can be violated with total impunity, the Azeries are doing it. We have to retaliate and reciprocate the killings.

    • Ara said:

      Azeris produce a sniper rifle with a champion effective range 3 km+ called ‘Istiglal” – google it you will see!! ! Armenian army sniper rifles are behind by specs. It is up to ministry of defence to correct this issue and apperently it is not working out wery good as you get news about casualties. And it is very sad that these young lives are being sacrificed because of falling behind in technology.

  3. Norin Radd said:

    The west will not do anything as long as they are getting fed Azeri oil, all the rhetorically EU “comdemnation” and “warnings” are a smoke and mirror act to appease the naive superficially while beneath the table the oil keeps flowing.

    The ARF and Co. need to wake up to this “real politik”, it’s hard to imagine that a political body of dashnaks extending back 100+ years writes articles in such an idealized manner given the realities of the situation. Unfortunately, the pen is not mightier than the gun despite what this article may insinuate, moreover, these days, oil IS mightier than the gun and the Arstakh stalemate proves this.

    Armenian needs to invest in weapons, and lots of them. No more thanksgiving day parades for collecting money to be spent on paving streets. Buy drones, buy SAMs, buy tanks, buy nuclear armaments if you can get your hands on them at the next world weapons expo, we need weapons of WAR not sheep like cries of peace again from our diasporan “leaders” begging the West to help us like a wet nurse for crying out loud.

    Form strategic deep alliance with the Russians, our only friend in the region, lobby the Kremlin. When the fighting begins, and make no mistake about it Armenians, the fighting is coming, the west will aid us Armenians about as much as they aided their direct ally “Sakashvilli” during the 2008 Georgian war. When the war does begin, aim all weapons at anything having to do with oil production, then watch the west quickly snuff out Azeri rhetoric and end the war as quickly as it began.

  4. Alex Postallian said:

    YOU GOT A PICTURE OF A REAL COWARD(LIKE HIS TURK BROTHERS) BEHIND THAT MACHINE GUN,ONLY PLAY ACTING…IN REALITY HE WOULD BE RUNNING THE OPPOSITE WAY….COWARD…

  5. hi said:

    there should be no need to negotiate with those barbarians (savage) at all. in this world one has retaliate much more strongly on time………then there will be full respect..

  6. Edward demian said:

    The omly proper response is massive retaliation frsulting in territorial losses for Azerbaijian. Otherwise it is a numbers game to them.

  7. armen said:

    I have a feeling that if Cmdr. Vazgen could have known what the Azeris would do long after the cease fire was signed he would have pressed for nothing less than a surrender from them.

  8. Saaten Maagar said:

    A dog will only learn if one barks at it. Azeris will never stop unless they are treated the same way that they treat Armenians. Do not keep on writing useless articles that mean nothing and do something about it or just fade into the sunset.

  9. Serg said:

    A policy of “10 Azeri soldiers must pay” for each Armenian nahadag must be implemented!

  10. Oaan said:

    Wake up
    When Azeribaijan attacks Nagorno Karabakh Armenia will need Russia’s assistance.
    Russia will roll through Georgia on its way ‘to help’.
    Russia will recover the Caucasus region soon.

  11. varouj said:

    Dear Hrant,

    Your observations are perfect, spot on, accurate. Only one issue your suggestions for change fall back into the same faulty logic that most have used, and that is that someone is going to miraculously change their behavior…

    The only and obvious answer is this, we should develope a weapon of mass destruction that will deter them, and shut them up. I hope we are covertly working on this… God I hope they’re thinking that far ahead. In the mean time we need to not overreact to their posturing other than to shoot back when we’re shot upon….

  12. GB said:

    Most world money hungry weapon producers, provided all these sophisticated sniper weapons, for coward Axeri Tatar-Turks…Armenia’s commandos must act like Israeli defence forces, raid and destroy all terrorist nest, permanently, without a warning!!

    • GeorgeMardig said:

      We should have went all the way to Baku: or ta least taken land with Oil and Gas fields.

      • Alex Postallian said:

        We were there in WW1…5000 rebel Armenians kept out 55000 jerky turkeys,for 3 mos..The shortage of the oil supply,caused the war to be over a lot quicker…You never hear about that.The Allies owe the Armenians a vote of thanks…So they turned their backs on them,nice friends,and so gratefull,too.

    • Menqmersarernenq said:

      Considering that Jewish writers and organizations deny and belittle the Armenian genocide and that the Azeris use Israeli weapons in incidents as the one dealt with in this article your comment is highly offensive. We are not Jews. We are Armenians, an Indo-European nation of our own. Also, you can’t compare Armenia and Israel – the latter is not in danger in any way, it has nukes.

  13. albo said:

    The answer to the headline is quite simple: As always, it is up to us and us alone to stop those aggressions. Nobody will come to help as the Azeri mindset is getting closer and closer to Nazi Germany’s (inter alia ethnic propaganda, a made up history and relatively massive war spending and rhetoric). Who should do it? Europe, “the West” i.e. the US, or Russia?

    Europe doesn’t know its elbows from its non-existent dick; the E.U. is a union of twaddlers and bureaucrats. Plus they clearly like to have some minor countries like the Caucasus ones to school. Who else would listen to them anyway?

    There are quite a lot of reasons why the U.S. + UK won’t intervene, the most important ones being: the naive believe in Turkey as an ally, Azeri lobbying, the oil industry and its own lobbying and the fact that Armenia is too close to Russia.

    Now Russia on the other I believe is quite happy with the current situation, as stabilization could lead to countries moving away from them, see Georgia. This customs union is nothing but another attempt to manifest the misery of post-Soviet countries, including Armenia and Azerbaijan.

    Finally, and this applies to all three forces: Why should they intervene. We are well past the naive post WWII stage where we believe that superpowers actually want to make the world a stable and prosperous place. This only applies when it makes them look good. Nobody wants to liaise with Azerbaijan, clearly, and nobody cares for a landlocked country of 2 million.

    At least the upside of this is, that the massive spending and diplomatic efforts by the Azeris pretty much go unnoticed, as nobody really gives a damn. However, no one will them not to hand out the little money they have from the relatively tiny oil operation they will have going on for another decade or so before vanishing again into a state of insignificance.

  14. Ara said:

    I think this is most disturbing fact and who ever cares about Armenia should act. Be it financally or other means to suupport this cause.
    Saying Armenia occupies Muslim lands should be noted following facts:
    Do not forget!!!
    Nachichevan- an Armenian province with pure Armenian name has no single Armenian living sole and belongs to Azerbaijan.. May be I am going away from topic but:
    Van, Sasun, Mush, Artvin, Kars Erzrum- were cleansed from Armenians who were the most native indigenous population of these lands. People were forcefully deprived from their rights to live on their own lands and so are their grand children now. Almost 100 years still there is no justice. In any court scenario the more time passes the probability of justice enforcement decreases. America with its democracy propaganda only makes things worse. Nato’s nuclear warheads in Turkey aimed on Russia will never let US or the West to trully confront Turkey in this issue and bring justice. I think Recognition of Genocide is a waste of time. Even its 100th anniversary will change very little.
    The savior is in Christ and in own hands of united true Armenian people.

  15. GeorgeMardig said:

    Armenians should learn from Israel and build muscle, every Armenian is obliged to do his part,

    • Menqmersarernenq said:

      These are the cold facts.

      In the long run we will have to choose between turning Armenia into a Russian-populated Kaliningrad (which is to prefer from seeing it absorbed by Turkey/Azerbaijan) or get nuclear weapons and keep populating the country ourselves. Also, we’ll have to raise our birthrates.

  16. Alex Postallian said:

    Let us end these suppositions………As long as the Big Baer(RUSSIA) hangs around jerky turkey,and its little bastard brother,azerbaturk,wont make a moveAll talk,no action.THEY ARE COWARDS..Putin will get tired of listening,then he will make a visit to one of these animal sewers,They will become..LOCK_JAW………

  17. Menqmersarernenq said:

    I don’t understand why the Armenian government doesn’t stop the negotiations? They have had so many opportunities where they could just leave the negotiations and nobody – even in this evil world – could have blamed them. I don’t believe it’s because they are afraid that Asserbaijan will start a war. I believe the motives go deeper than that. Christianity is a religion for slaves. It is a slave mentality that dictates our foreign policy. Armenians will become angry when they hear it, but Christianity is to blame for our misery.

  18. vartan said:

    ALIEV AND TURKS DO NOT UNDERSTAND ANY LANGUAGE EXEPT FORCE. DONKEY NEEDS TOBE PUNISHED

  19. Priyadarshi Dutta said:

    It appears to be the same situation as between Pakistan and India. Islamic Republic of Pakistan always violates ceasefire to open fire at Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir Province of India. A few months ago Mujahideens associated with Pakistani Army raided Indian side of border to kill/behead five Indian soliders on patrol. In January, 2012 two Indian soldiers were beheaded. But India believes in ‘negotiations’. Remember, aggression is foundational legacy of Islam. We have great hopes from Armenia. It is the only Christian country in the entire region which has stood up to Islamic aggression represented by Azerbaijan. Let us not be sitting ducks.

  20. Marshal said:

    The Azerbaijan government is a terrorist government.
    I see no difference in there bully tactics then
    The Taiban or other Muslim terrorist organization
    Except mr Aliev the leader wears a suit and tie.

  21. gaytzag palandjian said:

    Sa Srigald-i to Priaarshi Dutta,
    An Indian name I presume.Your comparison is correct.Also somehow not quite right as to Islamic fundamentalism.Religion is not really the reason for such ANIMOSITY,either within the Pakistanis or Axerbaijanis.Because there are many other Moslem countries besides Iran,our good neighbour that do not practice that sort of fundamentalism towards us Chjristian armenians.We, reciprocally respect their faith the Islam.
    Rather it is in the genes/nature of nations,races/people such as the Axeris(axeri comes from the change of Azeri,since an Azeri officer murdered and Armenian officer in his sleep with an AXE in Budapest some 8 yrs ago…BTW…the poor s. of a b.ing B had no gutts to fight the armenian officer with bare hands or weapons in the hands of both…cowards,that´s how they are…
    One thing though, that you have not mentioned is the fact that Pakistan never really made up with India,they exchanged populations(like Armenians and Axeris) and your borders are kept shut i imagine,after so many yrs.how come? is it because of racial conflict ,like ours with Axeris ?
    Anmd to end, again i repeat please do not say Islamic aggression,as <IT IS NOT SO,it is their race rather .They inherited Gengis Khan Tamerlain blood in their veins.Are you Turkic,pretending to be Indian?say so,as we denounce those who think we have grudge against Islam -just explained.The Islamic Republic of Iran is our best neighbour perhaps,before the Georgians!!!!
    Armenians please adhere to what I have explained.We are respectful of ISLAM.Latter nothing to do with Turco-Axeri race…..millions and millions of Moslem Arabs are in friendly `position with Armenians!

  22. Hovsep said:

    It’s a dam shame how the west treats there Christian Brethern?
    It’s sad to say but I think we got more support from Islamic Republic of Iran more then some of these so-called Christian nations!
    When are we going to stop these murders of our children yesterday I read they killed another Armenian soildier with a sniper!
    Do we not have the right to defend ourselves I ask the Christian world is everything about dollars and cents?

  23. Amir, Azeri said:

    I am disgusted by what my country does and by what your country does. Do you think about youth and future generations because it will be them fighting tomorrow, not you. Anyone who talks about war is a savage without a brain, no mater who hes is Azeri or Armenian. If do not put our differences aside we will not know peace and articles like this only make people want to go to war. Write the peace, f*ck the propaganda done by our countries. Let us become friends. I am really ashamed by what my country does and you must be ashamed too.

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