BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
For years and years, since the 1994 Artsakh-Azerbaijan ceasefire, the Azeris have been violating that very same cease fire.
These violations come in the form of sniper fire, attacks, the downing of a helicopter, commando-style attempted infiltration and murder, heavy weapons fire, kidnappings of border-dwelling Armenian civilians, and even some military activity on the frontier with the Republic of Armenia – sometimes from the Nakhichevan side at that!
Billions of dollars in military purchases from all over the world are flowing into Azerbaijan, and all are aimed at the twin Armenian republics.
The president of Azerbaijan is forever making bellicose pronouncements against Armenians.
Millions of oil dollars are spent on Baku’s “caviar diplomacy” (also known as polite, [quasi]legal bribery) in Europe, the U.S., and the rest of the world to distort history and reality while propping up an increasingly fragile petro-autocracy and its anti-Armenian crusade. Remember, Azerbaijan has parliamentary elections scheduled for November 1 (coincidentally, Turkey’s snap elections recently called by the wannabe-Sultan, falls on the same date!). Naturally, Aliyev wants credit for a large Armenian body count to help his party once again “win” by a landslide.
On top of all this we have been treated to the grotesquery of an Armenian-killing axe-murderer deceptively transferred to Azerbaijan to serve out his sentence and instead being given a hero’s welcome and showered with benefits.
The response from the rest of the world is nothing but mealy-mouthed words of “caution” and “wisdom” advising BOTH sides not to escalate tensions lest all-out war break out! Invariably Armenians are treated as if they are equally responsible for the ceasefire violations as the Azeris who actually INTIATE the flare-ups along the “line of contact”— a euphemism for “battlefront”!
Since we know these diplomats and great powers are FAR from stupid or blind, what then explains their equating Azeri actions and Armenian responses?
It could be that oil and defense purchases are keeping these supposedly neutral states quiet.
It could be that Turkey is being humored as has often happened with things like Genocide resolutions and laws.
It could be they just plain don’t care, but feel compelled to give lip-service to the notion of peace.
It could be that they’re telling us to just accept being abused, disrespected, and killed (shades of pre-Genocide Ottoman conditions for Armenians).
Maybe it’s time they were shown the foolishness of their ways. Especially now, with Turkey embattled with its three-pronged (internal, Iraq, and Syria) Kurdish offensive initiated for internal, partisan (formerly parliamentary majority AK Party) gain, perhaps a serious Armenian offensive, even in the direction of Nakhichevan, might be sobering enough to refocus all parties’ attention on reality. Of course this should be preceded by a very terse ultimatum that the very next Azeri ceasefire violation will result in a disproportionate response. Heck, the Kurds might particularly appreciate a Nakhichevan offensive since it would reduce the threat to them from the “rear” (i.e. east of Turkey’s borders). Maybe we could get some elected officials around the world to make statements to the effect that a harsh attack by Stepanakert, Yerevan, or both is what’s required to restore peace. Maybe this is the route the world is telling us to follow.
On the other, since there is definitely an electoral component to this, maybe just waiting until after November 1 is all that’s needed to return to a relatively more quiet situation on the front. This is certainly a more peaceful route, and would likely cost fewer lives.
What do you think? Wait or loudly advocate a strong response? What’s the best way to effectively call Ankara’s, Baku’s, and the rest of the world’s bluff?