Armenians Must Take Bold, Pre-Emptive Measures to Counter all Hostile Acts

BY HARUT SASSOUNIAN

Having been victimized by many conquerors throughout history, Armenians have developed a strong instinct for survival. To stay out of trouble, they have learned to be loyal and even subservient to the states that ruled over them.

While Armenians gained plenty of “moral victories,” their actual battlefield successes have been few and far between. One has to go back to two thousand years to find a rare example of a conquering Armenian ruler, King Tigran the Great (140-55 BC) whose vast empire extended from the Caspian to the Mediterranean Sea. In the modern era, prior to the Armenian Genocide, Armenian Freedom Fighters (Fedayees) fought back against the murderous Turks and Kurdish mercenaries. During the Genocide and its immediate aftermath (1915-1923), the Armenians of Shabin Karahisar, Ourfa, Van, Musa Dagh, Aintab, Hajin, Sassoun, and Zeitoun bravely defended themselves, while 1.5 million of their kinsmen were slaughtered like sheep. The heroic Battle of Sardarabad saved the remnants of the Armenian people in Eastern Armenia, culminating in the establishment of the first Armenian Republic in 1918. Finally, beginning in 1988, brave young men and women battled the much larger and better armed forces of Azerbaijan to liberate Artsakh (Karabakh).

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many western missionaries, tradesmen, writers and adventurers, often described the Armenians they encountered in the Ottoman Empire as “cringing.” Canadian-Armenian website Keghart.com, in an editorial posted last week, quoted Dr. William Goodell’s depiction of the Armenians of Constantinople in 1871: “Four centuries of torture, of oppression, and of suspense have stamped its impress upon an entire community… constant fear, constant agony, constant humiliation have so crushed out every trace of manhood, that they are still cringing, fawning, an abject race. Several generations of happier descendants can alone efface the mental taints acquired in those long years of vassalage.”

Regrettably, many Armenians have yet to overcome the “slave mentality” — deeply ingrained in their psyche — inherited from ancestors who lived for centuries under foreign yoke. One comes across countless examples of self-effacing behavior in Armenian communities throughout the Diaspora and in Armenia itself. All too often Armenians meekly accept injustices and insults heaped on them by others.

It is high time that Armenians throw off their shackles and defend their inalienable rights. They must not remain silent in the face of abuse or physical attack, but respond appropriately without resorting to reckless actions that may endanger their communities or the homeland.

In the United States, for example, when elected officials, journalists or writers distort the facts of the Armenian Genocide, they must be severely criticized and discredited, so others would be warned to refrain from Genocide denial.

The most recent example of Armenian inaction is the feeble Armenian response to last week’s night-time attack by Azeri forces on Artsakh, causing the deaths of four Armenian soldiers and the wounding of four others. Beyond expressions of sympathy for the victims and condemning the attack, no concrete action was taken by Armenian officials.

In the aftermath of this vicious and unprovoked attack, Armenia should have announced the cancellation of the next round of negotiations with Azerbaijan over Artsakh. It is completely unacceptable to conduct peace talks, while Azerbaijan is engaged in warfare. Under these circumstances, Armenians have the right to take all possible actions to defend themselves from future attacks. Rather than merely issuing a condemnation, the Armenian side at a time of its choosing should carry out punishing pre-emptive strikes so that Azeris would think long and hard before mounting another attack. Azerbaijan should clearly understand that any further aggression on their part would:

1. Cause the suspension of the peace talks, thus delaying the resolution of the conflict rather than expediting the negotiating process.
2. Lead Armenia to eventually abandon all peace talks, since it has little to gain from these negotiations. Azerbaijan is the one that desperately needs to negotiate in order to secure concessions from Armenia.
3. Signal to the world that the government of Azerbaijan is not interested in finding a negotiated settlement to the conflict and is responsible for its collapse.
4. Discredit the good faith effort of the mediating countries – France, Russia and the United States.
5. Force Armenia to initiate military action, causing a disproportionate amount of destruction, even damaging the oil pipelines, in order to discourage Azerbaijan from further attacks.

Armenians must realize that they no longer live in the Ottoman Empire and are no one’s slave. They should shake off their psychological shackles and take all necessary measures to defend their national interest!

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13 Comments

  1. Mike said:

    Great article. Armenia need to get though in it’s politics. While our soldiers and fighters are very brave we still need to adjust our political positions. The only problem is that we don’t have many wildcards or bargain chips to play with. In modern world’s political theater like at medieval market, everything is negotiable and for sale. We don’t have anyone backing us up ether. Not sure if we can rely on Russia when what’s best for us bare no fruits them. Different nations tend to support others within their group like Celtic, Slavic or Arabic. It’s strange that we are completely on our own against the sharks in this world. I wish that was not so.

    Can someone help me to understand why Armenia not claiming annihilated lands from Turkey? If Azeris complain about Karabah aren’t we in even stronger position to demand return of Western Armenian lands?

    • Shakeh said:

      I would like to know why, now that Armenia has been an independent state for nineteen years, hasn’t it taken the case of the Armenian Genocide to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands?

  2. Shakeh said:

    I would like to know why, since Armenian as been an international state for nineteen years, it hasn’t taken the Armenian Genocide case to the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

    Shakeh

  3. hovo said:

    Shakeh, international court is a dubious tool with lack of enforcement, and states have soverign rights, and the rest of the demand is politics…

  4. Papken Hartunian said:

    “It is completely unacceptable to conduct peace talks, while Azerbaijan is engaged in warfare.”
    I disagree! A good politician will continue to conduct peace talks even during warfare. To refuse to play a game doesn’t mean one wins the game. Azerbaijan has been engaged in warfare since 1988. What Armenians must do is to invent or secure modern weapon systems to avoid another genocide. Armenians already are in the processes of extinction through lack of birth rate. Our community leaders in the Diaspora must promote and facilitate returning of Armenians to homeland.

    • sebouh from australia said:

      With the corrupt evil oligarchs in power, people who would not think twice about selling their fellow Armenians for a dollar, you advocate returning to the homeland????????What drug are you on buddy????????

  5. Mike said:

    Inventing modern weapons means go nuclear. What reaction will that produce from ruling sharks? Will they be comfortable with Armenia joining nuclear club? Armenia has uranium mines but it does not mean that it’s enough to develop new weaponry. It requires research and production facilities that require massive investments. But yes, it would make Armenia safer and enable Armenian politicians to take unfearful positions.

    Regarding birth rate in Armenia: just promotion or population increase will not do any good if unsurvivable live conditions continues on. How do we expect those young people to raise their children when they have no job or means to feed their families? If that condition changes, the birth rate will increase. I think Armenian government should introduce a significant incentive to child bearing individuals/families. And it must be realistic, no symbolic. Diaspora can participate in this program.

    Armenians will be glad to return to Armenia as soon as conditions will be in place for people to build their lives in peaceful environment and with possibility of prosperity. And that’s exactly what our enemies want to destroy Armenia with. They know that indefinite unbearable conditions will weaken Armenia. Not all the wars fought with guns and tanks.

    Even though Christianity was designed to neutralize ability to resist and prevent nations of thinking straight we have to admit the following. Today, our Church is the core that keeps our nation together. And because of that our Church must be more then Church for us. It must me our life mentor, our national brain for survival rather than just a religious hub. Our nation will not survive without coordinated and rational cooperation. Church must act as our civilian intelligence agency.

  6. ashot yerkat said:

    What do Jews do when someone kills 5 Jews? They go kill 500 indiscriminately. Let’s learn from our Jewish brethren, folks. I think it is incumbent upon our government to arm our people just like Jews do. We should be slinging machine-guns on our shoulders, also. True, there will be a few incidents of revenge between us here and there, but all in all, we MUST be armed. Who is that Armenian arms dealer in the Middle East? I implore you, Sir, you can do it! And you, Armenian scientists, go devise a Turk-killing-virus. We need it badly. OSCE, EU, shmiyou, Davutoghlu or his uncle Babalu; you don’t “talk” with uncivilized people, you hit ‘em in the head, where it hurts.

  7. MihranK said:

    If Serzh has been reading or listening to the sound advice of Mr Sassounian over the years we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in now, but sadly they are all too busy lining up their pockets, selling their mother language, and taking instructions from foreign interests.

    The sooner he went the better.

  8. F.Munoz CL said:

    It’s trully exemplary that armenians, as well as serbs, bulgarians, greeks, had resisted the ottoman-muslim opression (not like the weeker catholic-roman christians). However, in this global world, the war is not enough to earn credibility. Armenia should be prepared to fight the military war, and the ”media” war, in order to make Azerbaijan to be seen worse. And besides, Armenia mustn’t to be the first to attack, or all the ”hippie-news” will say ”Armenia invading Azerbaijan”… Don’t fall in the trap of Aliyev and Lintner!

  9. john papazian said:

    If by “hippie-news” your refering to American mainstream media your wrong. They wouldn’t report on a war between Armenia and the Azeri tribe. I bet it wouldn’t even make the news ticker at the bottem of the screen. We have been all but completly forsaken by the US media.That 60 Minutes story was first mention of the Tukish attempt at genocide against us in how long? The History Channel does four or more specials on the holicaust every year,A&E did a special,Christianity the first thousand years,we did not even get an honnerable mention as being the worlds first Christian nation. Don’t count on any media coverage if war breaks out.And if the FOX News people tie us to Iran then every American illiterate will think we are the enemy.Trust me I know this to be true Americans are very narrow minded and will not aknowledge thier own mistakes,least of all be there for other Christian peoples.Maybe if there was oil under Armenia instead of gold.

  10. edward Demian said:

    The reason you will not hear anything about Armenia in the news, is due to a nationwide conspiracy on the part of all news management companies. That conspiracy is a self imposed censorship which is supposed to cater to Zionist wishes. Persons of Jewish descent predominate the media managment, and because of that, even non Jewish management, support this conspiracy for pecuniary reasons. Don’t blame the Jews. They are doing what comes natural to them. Surviving and thriving at the expense of others. The Jews do not produce. They are the middle men, the facilitators, the financiers. Thats why, when the slave trade was thriving, the Jewish money was right there to facilitate the process. When the Armenian homes were burning and the throats were bleeding out, the Jews were right there to purchase the loot at bargain prices. They never got their hands dirty. They just were the money behind the it all. When Turkey needs helicopters from the US, to continue and perfect the genocide against its Kurdish and other lesser minorities, the Jewish lobbies are right there on every legislators shoulder whispering in his year,” forget the Armenians.” If you and I don’t like this, than we have to play the same game. Put your kids through universities, and send them to Washington. For only when we have physical representation in all National legislature, far beyond our numbers, only then will we prevail for our slice of the American dream.

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