What has become known as the “four day war,” which erupted on April 1 as Azerbaijani forces brutally attacked all the Karabakh-Azerbaijan borders, brought to fore the urgency for justice and hammered in the realization the our demands will only be met by a collective national effort, which must heretofore guide all Armenian Cause-related steps.
The savagery with which Azerbaijan attacked Armenian military units and civilian targets and the brutal force displayed at the command of Baku was not only reminiscent of the vindictive nature of Azerbaijani attacks in Sumgait, Kirovabad, Baku and Shahumian in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but also of the guidelines put forth by Talaat and Enver pashas as they orchestrated the Armenian Genocide 101 years ago.
Last year, the entire world rose up to commemorate and recognize the Armenian Genocide, as thousands upon thousands of Armenians came together in every continent to demand justice for the Genocide and remember the 1.5 million martyrs of that tragedy.
Perhaps, most important, was that we, as Armenians, were emboldened by one another. We saw in each other, the same level of commitment and determination to pursue the just aspirations of the Armenian Nation and a drive to advance our demands, be that on the streets of Los Angeles, where 166,000 people rallied around to call for justice, or in the streets of Istanbul, where a new generation of Armenians is shaping its own future by reclaiming an identity that was long oppressed and continues to be a cause for acute persecution.
The international community’s posturing amid this groundswell was notably positive. The Pope’s reiteration of the Vatican’s long-held recognition of the Armenian Genocide triggered vociferous chain of action, with nations that had already recognized the Genocide vocalized their positions and sent leaders to Armenia to attend the events at Dzidzernagapert. Some countries, like Austria, that had not recognized did. The international media’s call for Turkey to end this cycle of denial and finally come to terms with its past also reached a crescendo not seen before, with some newspaper, such as the New York Times, even going as far as to report on the reparations issue that is part and parcel of the Armenian Cause.
However, after the Centennial, it became clear that the politics of the region will continue to dictate world response to events and issues such as the Armenian Genocide or the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. With proverbial battle lines being draw around the Syrian conflict by the West and Russia with the Islamic State at as its focal point, once again Armenia and Armenians are at the center of a larger reality with higher and more regionally-centric focus.
How else can we explain the Obama administrations declaration a few weeks back when Secretary of State John Kerry called the atrocities committed against Christians, Yezidis and other minorities by Da’esh (ISIS or ISIL) genocide, yet the same administration, headed by President Obama, is refusing, for the eighth time, to call the events of 1915 genocide.
By the same token, despite the egregious aggression by Azerbaijan toward the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, the world powers, in this instance including Russia, are refusing to call out Baku’s inhumane policies and are maintaining a false parity, that is not only empowering Azerbaijan to act with impunity, but is also enabling other forces to destabilize the region at the expense of Armenian lives.
This post-Centennial world order has seen world leaders turn a blind eye on human rights violations by Turkey and Azerbaijan and has created a climate whereby Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan can praise Hitler and then collect $3 billion in aid from Europe, while waging an indiscriminate war on its own Kurdish population.
This only means one thing: Armenians can only advance the just aspirations of the Armenian people and relying on outside forces only delays our abilities to transform ourselves into a strong and resilient nation by putting forth all our individual and collective capabilities in the pursuit of the Armenian Cause.
To successfully achieve this, we must all work together to strengthen the republics of Armenia and Artsakh. This means that this new order must compel the government of Armenia to end the corruption that has become a noose around the Armenian people, and for the Diaspora to focus its resources on enabling the positive and tangible efforts all for the advancement of our collective Nation.
Together we must be the guarantors of our own fate. Together we must advance the Armenian Cause. Together we must fight for and attain justice for the Armenian Nation.
As we remember 1.5 million martyrs of the Armenian Genocide, we must keep in mind that Turkey failed, as did and will Azerbaijan. The events in this month in Karabakh showed that our nation can come together and will come together around a common cause.
Let us RALLY FOR JUSTICE on April 24.