Clinton Should Share the Blame For Killings of Armenian Soldiers

Harut Sassounian


A tragic pattern of bloody engagements continues to recur along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border at great human cost. Whenever high level visits or international meetings are scheduled on the Artsakh (Karabakh) conflict, Azerbaijan unfailingly initiates attacks on Armenian border guards causing many casualties.

Azerbaijan’s leaders hope that such hostile action would impress upon the mediating countries the urgency of resolving the conflict by pressuring Armenia’s leadership to make territorial concessions on Artsakh.

Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the Caucasus republics. On the day of her arrival in Yerevan, Azeri forces attacked two Armenian border posts, killing three soldiers and wounding many others. In the ensuing days, more Azeri attacks took place, drawing Armenian return fire, resulting in scores of casualties, mostly on the Azeri side.

Armenians expected Secretary Clinton to strongly condemn Azerbaijan after its initial attack. Clearly, the Azeri military action was timed to coincide with her visit to Armenia. Yet, regrettably, the Secretary merely urged both countries to refrain from “the use of force,” stressing that the Artsakh conflict “can be resolved exclusively by peaceful means.” Clinton’s totally unacceptable statement equated the aggressors with the victims. Moreover, by not condemning the Azeri attacks, she actually emboldened Azerbaijan to commit further acts of aggression against Armenia.

Since it is common knowledge that Azerbaijan orchestrates such attacks to coincide with visits of high-ranking officials to the region, Secretary Clinton should have warned Azerbaijan, before embarking on her trip, not to initiate any hostile action while she was in the area. The State Department should have advised the Azeri government that any breach of the ceasefire during the Clinton visit would be personally embarrassing for the Secretary of State, leaving her no choice but to cancel her trip to Baku. Even if such a warning was not issued in advance, Clinton should have refused to go to Baku after the Azeri attacks. Unfortunately, the Secretary placed a higher value on Azeri oil than on Armenian blood. By her actions, she also undermined the international prestige and moral standing of the United States!

As this could be Clinton’s farewell visit to the region — she is retiring from public service later this year — it is regrettable that she will leave behind a legacy of violence and conflict rather than peace and reconciliation. The US Secretary may have come to Yerevan and Baku to encourage a negotiated settlement to the Artsakh conflict, yet she left the region more destabilized than before.

Another factor that has encouraged Azerbaijan to continue its attacks is the inadequate Armenian response to the countless ceasefire violations since 1994. Armenians will be unable to stop Azeri aggression simply by firing back. The Aliyev regime should be made to understand that it would pay a heavy price for breaching the ceasefire. Rather than simply returning fire, the Armenian response should be to neutralize the Azeri military positions responsible for initiating the attacks.

Although some may fear that a more robust Armenian response would lead to all-out conflict, such concerns are misplaced because Azerbaijan is not ready to wage war, according to most military experts. By starting a premature war, the Azeris risk losing even more territories, not to mention the enormous economic losses!

To deter further Azeri aggression and reduce Armenian casualties, here are seven actions that Armenia may consider taking should Azerbaijan continue to violate the ceasefire:

— Respond by targeting Azerbaijan’s petroleum industry, disrupting its oil and gas pipelines. The best defense is a good offense.

— Take preemptive action to neutralize Azeri snipers who regularly target Armenian border guards and civilians in nearby villages.

— After each attack suspend peace talks with Azerbaijan for an indefinite period. One cannot talk peace and fight at the same.

— Demand that all countries refrain from the sale of weapons to Azerbaijan.

— Urge CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization), a defense-alliance that includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, to warn Azerbaijan that any further attacks on Armenia would trigger a collective military response from all CSTO members.

— Declare that Turkey’s support for Azerbaijan in the Artsakh conflict constitutes a hostile act, and hence withdraw Armenia’s signature from the Armenia-Turkey Protocols.

— Recognize the Republic of Artsakh as an independent state and invite other countries to do likewise.

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  1. Kevork said:

    That would make Clinton a murderer.

    Of course she has the oil industry behind her, and therefore immunity from all crimes, including the murder of innocent Armenians.

    This witch should be banned from Armenia!

  2. George said:

    Clinton Should Share the Blame For Killings of Armenian Soldiers…………. She doesn’t care, she’s morally bankrupt, all she cares is OIL, OIL, OIL.

  3. danoog said:

    What do you expect from Hillary? She is a tool of the Turk-loving, Erdogan-kissing P.O.S. Obama. As long as he is in office, Armenia can’t count on any help or sympathy from the U.S.

  4. aramazd said:

    Whoever this junkie is that wrote this opinion needs to shut it. If you were in her position and you were representing USA which has lots of airplanes going through Azerbaijan to Afghanistan would you go tell Azerbaijan to shut its face? no. So stop it.

    • Kevork said:

      You’re the one who needs to shut up with your pseudo “intelligent” lousy comment. The US has the biggest arsenal in Turkey which the Turks cannot even get close to, and the almost entire fake country of Azerbaijan is owned by Chevron. If the US really needs something and instructs them, Turkey and Azerbaijan will lick the USA’s boots like there was no tomorrow. I suggest you stop your ignorant interpretation of “mainstream media” – they took you for a fool, and apparently they were right.

    • Avery said:

      well said Kevork:

      and you, aramazd: calling honorable Mr. Sassounian a “junkie” ?
      obviously you are the real junkie, in the truest sense of the word.
      your brain cells have been so fried from too many, ummmm,… injections, that you are incapable of independent thought.

      you are just mouthing off standard State Dept talking points.
      check your facts before you come here and regurgitate Neocon propaganda.

      Azerbaijan’s contribution as to supplies going thru its territory is only 5% of overall US cargo.
      Russia accounts for the bulk of cargo thru the Northern Distribution Network. And Pakistan route accounts for 60% of overall.

      And one last thing: per capta, Armenia has 5 times more troops in Afghanistan than Azerbaijan.
      Go drink some more oil from Baku wells: it will clear up your thinking.

  5. Arthur I said:

    Hillary is like raduation. Wherever the wind takes her, she poisons the environment. As first lady she tried to poison the American health care system, and got her pundits to do it after she got the SOS position. As first lady, she orchestrated the fnal destruction of Yugoslavia in order to hide away her personal family problems. And now she poisons Caucasus into a major showdown with Russia and Iran. Amerucans can’t wait to be rid of this scorpion.

  6. AraK said:

    I wonder if this frustrated woman told Alyev “give me five” like she did with Davitoglu…

  7. Pingback: Clinton Should Share the Blame For Killings of Armenian Soldiers « Therearenosunglasses’s Weblog

  8. Sarkis said:

    Hillary should learn that peace and justice should prevail over interest ( Oil ) and war.

  9. Sarkis said:

    It is more advisable, that peace and justice prevail over interest (Oil) and war
    in the present conflict.

  10. Gary said:

    Hillary Clinton represents the interests of our country not Armenia. She is in the region to advance the US agenda.

    Unfortunately supporting Armenia does not help with the broader US objectives in the middle east or in securing the flow of oil.

    The Azeri’s are responsible for there own actions. To ascribe causation of attacks on Armenian troops to Hillary is absurd. The Azeris were sniping and doing incursions before Hillary and will continue to do so long after Hillary has left the region. The accusation that is the heart of this article is a wonderful example of Post Hoc Ergo Proptor Hoc-a type of false causation.

    The amount of assistance given to Armenia is remarkable considering how little Armenia can contribute to the advance of US interests.

    Whining and playing the victim is not a successful long term strategy to build a country.

  11. Armenian said:

    id say that murderer needs to be murdered back. eye for eye! lets see how their intelligent tactics work then!