BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN
During his campaign, President Obama pledged to work “for a lasting and durable settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict that is agreeable to all parties, and based upon America’s founding commitment to the principles of democracy and self determination.”
Somehow, for Obama, “America’s founding commitment to the principles of democracy and self determination” now translate into forcing Armenia into a corner to make concessions on the Karabakh conflict, and most importantly, ignore the will—self-determination—of the people of Karabakh, hence promoting a process that is solely advantageous to Azerbaijan, where the US greed for energy, coupled with the pursuit of a failed agenda in Afghanistan, supersedes all else.
By co-signing a statement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with his Russian and French counterparts Demitry Medvedev and Nicolas Sarkozy, Obama showed, once again, that his version of the so-called American dream does not include a commitment to justice and human rights, but rather an adamant insistence to pursue the failed policies of his predecessors.
The statement was another reiteration of the sides’ commitment to the thus-failed OSCE Minsk Group’s so-called Madrid Principles. But, the silence by the three leaders on last week’s fatal violation, by Azeri forces, of the cease fire distinguishes this statement from all those that came before it. Effectively, President Obama has signed his name to a document that condones the oft-condemned bellicose rhetoric by Azerbaijan and green-lights future such attacks, which were Azerbaijan’s way to reinforce its dangerous and violent position on the peace process.
Now, he’s sending Secretary of State Clinton to the region, who, no doubt, will use the same zeal that she did during the signing of the failed Armenia-Turkey protocols to threaten, bully and arm twist Armenia into another hasty agreement that will endanger the national security of Armenia and the Armenian nation.
What supports this misguided effort by the US is official Yerevan’s immediate and fervent approval of the statement, the rationalization for which provided by Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian, once again, calls into question the ability of the Sarkisian administration to traverse complex diplomatic issues in favor of Armenia’s—and Armenians’—interest.
How ironic that Clinton is expected to spend the July 4 holiday weekend strong-arming Caucasus’ leaders to follow a path that is so far divorced from what our forefathers set out to accomplish in 1776.
Medvedev’s and Sarkozy’s participation in this effort is also dubious. These two leaders who have been so vocal on their opposition to the US mission in Iraq, as well as most of the US-led post 9/11 efforts, were quick to turn a blind eye to last week’s Azeri attacks and support an initiative that has failed to bring peace to the region.
What clearly has also failed is Obama’s audacious effort—hope—to adhere to inalienable rights and principles in his pursuit of the now so-illusive change.