Call for Immediate End to Aggression

PRESS RELEASE

OCTOBER 3, 2020

                                      Armenian Americans for Human Rights (AAHR)*
                                                       Belmont, MA 02478, USA
                                                    [email protected]

                               AAHR CALLS FOR AN IMMEDIATE END TO AGGRESSION
                           AGAINST ARTSAKH (NAGORNO-KARABAGH) AND ARMENIA

We strongly condemn the latest aggression by Azerbaijan against the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh) and the Republic of Armenia.

On Sunday morning, September 27, 2020, Azerbaijan flagrantly violated a negotiated ceasefire by launching a massive, unprovoked attack on Artsakh and Armenia.

In Azerbaijan, NATO member Turkey has deployed and is using its own armed forces and advanced arms, including American-supplied weapons such as F-16 jets, to attack Artsakh/Armenia.

Using American-supplied weapons for other than self-defense is a grave violation of American law for which the United States must bear full responsibility.

Azerbaijan and Turkey have been deliberately targeting innocent civilians, schools, and homes in Artsakh, resulting in hundreds of deaths and injuries, including those of children.

Turkish President Erdogan and his country have no business intruding into this conflict — particularly on the side of the aggressor.

For years, Israel has been selling billions of dollars in armaments, including advanced attack drones, to Azerbaijan for use against Armenians.  Israeli personnel have even fired such weapons against Armenians.

Israel is now resupplying these weapons to Azerbaijan.

This is not surprising because Israel, which demands worldwide acknowledgement of the Holocaust, has always refused to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide committed by Turkey from 1915-1923.

Leading Jewish American organizations (ADL, AJC, AIPAC, and others) had long colluded with Turkey and Israel to deny/diminish the Armenia Genocide and/or actively defeat Armenian Genocide resolutions in the U.S. Congress [NOTE 1].

For years, Israel has also been guiding Jewish writers to publish falsehoods about Armenia, Artsakh, and Armenians.

The American people and the international community will ultimately not tolerate such hypocrisy.

Consistent with American interests and values, for nearly 30 years America and the American people have  generously provided economic, charitable, and political support to Armenia and Artsakh, which also have excellent relations with the European Union.

Armenia participates in NATO’s Partnership for Peace and has supported the U.S. in Afghanistan.

America, the European Union, and NATO must act now, not merely talk, to stop Azeri/Turkish aggression.

Artsakh and Armenia are democracies.  Azerbaijan is headed by dictator Ilham Aliyev, and, like Turkey, imprisons political opponents and journalists.

America is now energy independent.  It need not sell itself to corporate interests whose only goal is profiting from Azerbaijan’s gas and oil deposits.

Azerbaijan has threatened to bomb Armenia’s Metsamor nuclear power plant, a crime against humanity that would spread radiation throughout the world.

Turkey has now sent jihadist terrorists from Syria, Libya, and elsewhere to Azerbaijan to fight against Armenians [NOTE 2].

Former ISIS commander Sayf Balud is going to Azerbaijan, courtesy of President Erdogan [NOTE 3].

This continues Turkey’s practice of supporting terrorist organizations such as ISIS [NOTE 4].

The U.S. State and Defense Departments as well as Congress should be embarrassed that they have long turned a blind eye to Turkey’s support for terrorists – thereby making a mockery of America’s “Global War on Terror.”

In the early 1990s, Azerbaijan deployed Afghan Mujahedin, Chechen militants, Turkish Grey Wolf neo-fascists, and others to fight Armenians.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given his financial investments in Turkey and deep ties to the corrupt Erdogan family, President Trump is ignoring Turkey’s support for terrorist factions, aggression against Armenians (and others), and illegal use of American-supplied weapons.

Similarly, the Democratic Party and its presidential nominee Joe Biden have said little about Turkish and Azeri aggression against Artsakh/Armenia.  This implicitly aligns Mr. Biden and Democrats with President Trump with whom they allegedly disagree on issues involving Turkey and Erdogan.

Artsakh is Armenian

In 1921, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and Bolsheviks used “divide and rule” tactics to place Artsakh inside Azerbaijan, even though Artsakh was Armenian and Armenians constituted 95% of the population.

In 1988, Artsakh freed itself from over 60 years of repression, economic underdevelopment, and periodic massacres: It democratically voted to secede from Azerbaijan in accordance with Soviet law.  When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, Artsakh voted for independence.

As these events were taking place, Azerbaijan’s authorities responded with massacres of Armenians in Sumgait and Baku in 1988 and 1990.

In 1921, Stalin also put the Armenian territory of Nakhichevan under Azerbaijan’s jurisdiction. Azerbaijan subsequently drove out all of Nakhichevan’s Armenians and has destroyed its ancient Armenian cultural heritage [NOTE 5].

Azerbaijan had continuously attempted to do the same to Artsakh.  That is why Artsakh voted for self-determination and freedom.

Azerbaijan was, in actuality, cobbled together only in 1918.  Prior to that, no such country ever existed nor did any “Azeri” identity.

Though the population of Armenia and Artsakh is at most 3 million compared to the combined 92 million populations of Azerbaijan and Turkey, Armenians are fighting valiantly against the aggressors.

From 1915-1923, Turkey committed genocide against Christian Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks.  And Turkey has for years threatened Armenia with a new genocide.

The international community is not helpless.  It must act.

Armenian Americans for Human Rights makes the following calls:

  • That the United States unequivocally demand that Azerbaijan and NATO member Turkey cease their aggression against Artsakh/Armenia.  NATO must do the same.  Enforcement must be swift.
  • That the United States immediately cut off military aid of any type to Azerbaijan and Turkey.
  • That the United States impose sanctions on Turkey for illegally using American-supplied military equipment and technology against Artsakh/Armenia.
  • That the United States and NATO condemn the deployment of jihadists by Azerbaijan and Turkey and work for their immediate exit from Azerbaijan.
  • That Israel cease supplying any and all military equipment, advice, personnel, technology, and intelligence — including that provided to Israel by America — to Azerbaijan.
  • That the leading Jewish American organizations — particularly the American Jewish Committee and its CEO David Harris (received dictator Aliyev’s highest award) — end their disgraceful support of Azerbaijan, and condemn Azeri and Turkish aggression.  We respectfully ask principled Jews and Israelis to ask them to do so.
  • That the international community condemn Azerbaijan’s threat to bomb Armenia’s Metsamor nuclear power plant.
  • That Russia cease supplying weapons and intelligence to Azerbaijan and Turkey and prohibit their use against Artsakh/Armenia now and in the future.
  • That Russia adhere to its defense agreements with Armenia and cease using Azerbaijan and Turkey to coerce and extort Armenia.
  • That Russia live up to its stated policy of opposition to terrorism and immediately work to remove jihadists from Azerbaijan.

We call on Americans and all people of goodwill to help to prevent what may soon become a second Armenian Genocide.

* Armenian Americans for Human Rights was founded in Massachusetts in early 2018.

It has an experienced Board of Advisors and its Chair is David Boyajian.

NOTE 1:

Showdown Set in ‘Genocide’ Debate, Rebecca Spence, The Jewish Daily Forward, Sept. 2, 2006:

Every year on April 24, the day that Armenians commemorate the killings, a resolution calling for the use of the controversial term is proposed in Congress and then beaten back. Some Jewish groups claim credit for ensuring that such a resolution never passes.

Jewish advocacy groups, including the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, B’nai Brith and American Jewish Committee “have been working with the Turks on this issue” for more than 15 years, said Yola Habif Johnston, director for foundations and community outreach at Jinsa.

“The Jewish lobby has quite actively supported Turkey in their efforts to prevent the so-called Armenian genocide resolution from passing,” she said.

Armenian Lobbyists are Facing a Lost Cause, Nathan Guttman, Haaretz International, Aug. 12, 2004:

Last year, Jewish organizations, primarily the American Jewish Committee (AJC), have been more active in thwarting the resolution acknowledging the Armenian genocide. This year the politicians managed of their own accord and the resolution will be postponed even without the involvement of Jewish organizations.

But a central activist in a Jewish organization involved in this matter clarified that if necessary, he would not hesitate to again exert pressure to ensure the resolution is not passed and the Turks remain satisfied.

NOTE 2:

One of the scores of articles and reports confirming Turkey and Azerbaijan’s use of jihadist terrorists:

Turkey’s Syrian Mercenaries in Azerbaijan “Feel Tricked” as Bodies Pile Up, Lindsey Snell, The Investigative Journal, Sept. 20, 2020:

NOTE 3:

Turkey sends former ISIL commander to lead Azerbaijan’s fight against Armenia, National Post/Reuters, Sept. 29. 2020:

https://nationalpost.com/news/armenia-azerbaijan-accuse-each-other-of-cross-border-attacks-civilian-toll-climbs 

NOTE 4:

Two Columbia University (New York City) studies prove Turkey has supported ISIS: 

Research Paper: Turkey-ISIS Oil Trade, 2015-2016:

Research Paper: ISIS-Turkey Links, 2015-2016:

NOTE 5:

Live video of the Azerbaijani army using pickaxes and dump trucks to destroy a 9th century Armenian cemetery’s thousands of iconic carved headstones: (The New Tears of Araxes”)

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