We are living in extraordinary times. As we mark the 107th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the hatred that guided its perpetrators continues to serve as state policy for many countries—among them Turkey and Azerbaijan—with the civilized world falling further into savagery.
For decades we have argued that the failure by the international committee to recognize and condemn the Armenian Genocide has led to the proliferation of such crimes and using its recognition as a political bargaining tool has resulted in more human deaths around the world.
Last year, President Joe Biden’s use of the word Genocide to characterize the events of 1915, ended decades of the United States’ complicity in the crime and allowing foreign governments to dictate American foreign policy.
“Today, as we mourn what was lost, let us also turn our eyes to the future—toward the world that we wish to build for our children. A world unstained by the daily evils of bigotry and intolerance, where human rights are respected, and where all people are able to pursue their lives in dignity and security,” Biden said in his message on April 24, 2021.
Yet the Biden Administration, as well as America’s allies, have turned a blind eye to “the daily evils of bigotry and intolerance,” as they continue to support regimes that not only practice that bigotry but also indoctrinate their future generations in that belief.
Take Azerbaijan as an example. Despite numerous pleas by Armenian-Americans and Members of Congress, the U.S. government continues its unfettered support of the Ilham Aliyev regime, which is advancing a policy of ethnic cleansing of Armenians in Artsakh without any reaction—or condemnation—from the U.S. or any other country for that matter.
This silence continues to embolden leaders like Aliyev, who encouraged by his comrade in arms, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is not only indiscriminately targeting Armenian civilians but also has adopted a policy of erasing and eradicating traces of Armenians from Artsakh by desecrating and appropriating Armenian cultural and religious landmarks.
In today’s reality, the U.S.’s vocal condemnation of human rights abuses seems to only focus on Ukraine, while other similar and more severe violations have taken a back seat and America continues its selective approach to universal issues.
Despite Azerbaijan’s ongoing campaign of aggression against Armenians in Artsakh, which in recent months has included the blockade of gas supplies to Artsakh and invading the Parukh village in the Askeran region, the Armenian government, headed by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, has embarked on an ill-time and dangerous effort to advance “peace talks” with Azerbaijan, while, at the same time engaging in talks to normalize relations with Turkey.
Clearly, Turkey’s overt support of Azerbaijan during the 2020 War is not enough to raise red flags for Armenia’s government circles and its continued undermining of the normalization talks by continuously suggesting Yerevan’s unwillingness to take “decisive steps” demonstrate that neither Ankara nor Baku are fair negotiating partners.
Yerevan’s two-pronged approach to advance relations with Armenia’s enemies not only ignores the crimes being committed by the two states against Armenia and Armenians today, it also leaves Armenia vulnerable to more national security risks.
The Armenian government’s full engagement in these talks “without preconditions” also waters down its stated policy to advance and fight for the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide as a deterrent for future crimes.
Efforts to fight for the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide have become more urgent as Azerbaijan—fully-supported by Turkey—continues to advance ethnic cleansing and Genocide of Armenians in Artsakh.
This must continue to remain a priority for all Armenians until all those countries that continue to refuse the recognition of the Armenian Genocide—the U.K. and Israel come to mind—do so with the proper intent of righting a historical wrong and truly preventing more such atrocities from taking place.