Are They Trying To Tell Us Something?

Garen Yegparian
Garen Yegparian

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?


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  1. Vahe said:

    When Azerbaijan attacks Armenia itself (not Artsakh) why doesn’t Armenia invoke the Russian – Armenian mutual defense pact? Which raises the question of whether the pact is worth much.

    Also, keep in mind that Nakhichevan is bound by a 3 country treaty: Turkey – Russia – Azerbaijan.

  2. Zareh Sahakian said:

    It is a great theory. The problem however is neither Turkey, Azerbaijan or the “world leader’s lip service”. The problem lies with Russia. If Armenia responds forcefully and destroys all Azeri future potential and calls Ankara’s bluff, it will not sit well with the Kremlin leaders.

    I’m sure you can figure out how Putin will respond to Armenian assertiveness. Any sense of loss of control over Armenian leadership will make already-pale Putin even paler!

    Having said that, showing teeth never fails in the long run.

  3. mgl said:

    Increase Armenian population first and talk about expansion. It is bla bla if you live outside of Armenia. Move to Armenia, make 10 kids, send them all to frontline and then let’s hear your singing again.

  4. Peter Musurlian said:

    Mr. Yegparian lays it out factually and asks a good question of his readers. I am curious to see responses. Also, I would like the columnist to quote diverse voices in and out of Armenia. What is the government’s likelihood of a disproportionate response “to really send a message?” And, what would be the duration of this retaliation be? Who would win? And, what would the body count be…on both sides? I am suggesting nothing. I have no expertise in these matters. I simply wonder what the experts think.

  5. Arman said:

    Aliev will play the Armenian card whenever he needs to justify anything that goes wrong in Azerbaijan itself. The risk is even greater now when the oil price is in free fall pulling their finances to a zone that does not mix well with megalomaniacal expenses and wide spread corruption.
    However the idea of Armenian offensive in Nakhichevan is completely insane. The Armenian people has to get rid of the corrupt elites that strangle the country from inside. We do not need another war to conveniently hide the crimes committed against the people. We should strengthen the defenses in order to be able to give a strong response to the provocations. Starting the war would be a crime against the people.

  6. Janapar said:

    I have tried but I cannot seem to keep the various scenarios contained as a local Caucasus issue.
    AZ cannot just sit on all those weapons it has purchased over the years. Armenia needs Russian help and so a Russian v AZ conflict is therefore inevitable and it is win win for Russia. At the very least they get to disrupt AZ oil production thus making the EU more dependent on Russian oil and gas in the short term. The best result will be the return of AZ to the Russian orbit as a puppet state. You have to drive through Georgia to get to Armenia and AZ so might as well just stay.
    Will the EU, the US and China stand by and let Russia control AZ (and then Turkmen) oil?
    Will fundamentalist Muslims rise in Central Asia as a result of Russian aggression?
    Friend Russia makes Armenia bigger by officially giving it Nakhichevan and Artsakh. So what.

  7. Sevak said:

    Destabilize the region. Let them rot within. Lives are too precious to be wasted on Tatars, Albanians and other former nomads currently calling themselves Azeries. Good points are made but I agree with the internal support of population control. Support your people instead of robbing them, create incentives for child birth, multiply and if you choose to attack, you have a better leverage.
    Various powers like to see a destabilized caucuses and its working for them. Just like Syria and other parts of the middle east. Talk is cheap and Armenia should veto their presence in the OSCE group. Stop hiding under the shadows and tell them how it is. What are we afraid of? They may give the better half of the sandwich to the Azeries. Our problem has been and is still being the lack of smart politics (although must admit we are getting there,) and the lack of pulling the trigger on time. I appreciate the comments by Mr. Yegparian. Time management is also important in this vital region. Let see what happens after the elections.

  8. edward demian said:

    Russia may not be eager to start another conflict, but is definitely unwilling to loose its southern border with Turkey. They will intervene only if Armenia falters. It is up to the Armenians. The first thing we need to do, is capture a section of the pipeline, and then some more land connecting us with the Russian border.

  9. Armen Armenian said:

    Dear Garen,
    Frankly, I am astonished by:
    • Your complete lack of any sense of responsibility and
    • Amazed by the casual response of my compatriots.
    “Maybe it’s time they were shown the foolishness of their ways…..perhaps a serious Armenian offensive, even in the direction of Nakhichevan, might be sobering enough to refocus all parties’ attention on reality.”
    • Are you advocating war to “refocus all parties’ attention on reality”? What is this reality that you are referring to? War is the ultimate resort when all other options have been consumed.
    • Are you referring to the Azeri defense budget that is much higher than the Armenian defense budget? The Azeri defense forces that are much more in number compared to Armenian defense forces? And you think war is the option to show “the foolishness of their ways”?
    • What electoral component are you referring to? The Nov. 1 elections in Turkey are going to stop the cease fire violations in Artsakh by the Azeris?
    If this topic is of interest to you, I have one suggestion:
    Get off your general’s sofa in LA, go to Armenia or Artsakh and get involved with the defense of our homeland.
    War kills people and we should approach it with the utmost caution.