Author Archives: Michael Mensoian

Helsinki Principles Ignore Artsakh’s Right to Independence

In an aside to the June 17-18 meeting of the Group of Eight (G8) Industrialized Nations in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, Presidents Barack Obama (U.S.), Vladimir Putin (Russian Federation), and Francois Hollande (France) reaffirmed their support of the Helsinki Principles as the basis for a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

A Call to the Armenian Relief Society

Zaruhi has been laid to rest, but her death has raised fundamental questions concerning human rights and gender equality of women in Armenia. It is a poor response by those who claim women are treated no differently in Armenia compared to other countries. How can we justify our probable shortcomings by citing similar shortcomings common to other countries? Doing so would set a very low standard by which to evaluate the value system and future goals of Armenia.

Sireli Zaruhi, Can You Forgive Us?

In a recent issue of the Armenian Weekly (Nov. 27, 2010) there is a photo of President Serzh Sarkisian surrounded by a score of well-dressed, intelligent Armenian women celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Relief Society. In my mind I juxtaposed this photo with the photo of Zaruhi Petrosyan, a young mother of an infant child, whose life at just 20 years was cut short by the brutal beatings she sustained at the hands of her husband.

Karabakh and the Credibility of ‘Hai Tahd’

Karabakh occupies a very small piece of the earth’s surface, but it represents the sum and substance of Hai Tahd (Armenian Cause) and the political fortunes of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF). Some may view this as hyperbole, but Karabakh does represent a defining moment in the history of the ARF. Not only were ARF members part of the Karabakh government that declared its independence from Azerbaijan, but ARF combat units were effective participants in the war for liberation. And it was an ARF unit in a well-coordinated surprise attack on May 8, 1992 that defeated the Azeri forces entrenched in the historic mountain fortress city of Shushi that marked the turning point in the war for liberation.

Artsakh and ICJ’s Advisory Opinion on Kosovo

On Oct. 8, 2008, the United Nations General Assembly requested the International Court of Justice to provide an advisory opinion on the question “Is the unilateral declaration of independence by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of Kosovo in accordance with international law?” The question was narrowly framed by the General Assembly, and the court’s advisory opinion on July 22 simply stated that “…the declaration did not violate any applicable rule of international law.” The court did not seek to break new legal ground, but in their deliberations certain principles that have application to Artsakh’s case were referenced.

Assessing Azerbaijan’s Military Threat to Retake Karabakh

The United States director of intelligence, Dennis Blair, in written testimony to a Senate committee has said that “[A]lthough there has been progress in the past year toward Turkey-Armenian rapprochement, this has affected the delicate relationship between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and increases the risk of a renewed conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Mensoian: If the ARF Fails to Confront the Challenges, Who Will?

Déjà vu. Again we anxiously wait to see if the resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide will be favorably voted out of the House Foreign Relations Committee. If Turkey with its coterie of paid lobbyists, academic surrogates, and other associated anti-genocide proponents fails to defeat congressional passage of the resolution, another moral victory may be added to the two dozen or so moral victories in hand from foreign governments that have recognized the genocide.

Translating the ARF Roadmap to Regime Change into Action Part II

The roadmap to regime change is a response to conditions that were crystallized by the recently signed protocols which represent the first step in the process of rapprochement between Armenia and Turkey. The ARF has properly viewed these documents as being detrimental to Armenia’s present and future national interests. In response to this assessment, the party has announced its formal opposition to the protocols. In Part I an explanation was offered as to how the ARF can deliver on its roadmap to regime change. Although this is a gargantuan task for which the ARF has the necessary experience to undertake, it is the how of the undertaking that is crucial. The response by the ARF, if it is to be effective, must be multi-faceted in its objectives and multi-operational in its implementation.