A path to emulate

Misinformation, mythinformation, and anti-Armenian propaganda continue to be disseminated unabated in the so-called mainstream media in north America and elsewhere. A more apt descriptive would be “main sewer.” A group of young Canadian-Armenians has banded to battle mass media’s distorted depiction of the Armenian struggle for the survival of Artsakh, aka Nagorno-Karabakh. They call themselves “Canadian Media Monitoring” (CMM). Their mission is to expose the anti-Armenian falsehoods spread by the mainstream media and to counter it with the truth, especially about Artsakh and the Azeri-Turkic invasion of Artsakh and Armenia. Keghart salutes the members of “Canadian Media Monitoring” and their patriotic work. We present a few samples of their writings and hope other young Armenians join them. If you are interested please send your name and coordinates to [email protected]

Dear Mr. Slackman,
I would like to bring to your attention Roots of War: When Armenia Talked Tough, Azerbaijan Took Action (NYT Oct. 28, 2020).
It appears that the New York Times editor has found a new ‘casus belli’ for what in fact is Turkey’s proxy war in the South Caucasus region, to bring to completion, as Mr. Erdogan said, what his forefathers started hundred years ago. Obviously, Armenia and the Armenian Question stand on the way of Mr. Erdogan’s Pan-Turkist and Pan-Turanist ambitions.
Sadly, it sounds that the NY Times editor justifies aggression by the Azerbaijani-Turkish forces, with the involvement of jihadist mercenaries from the Middle East, by a mere fact that the democratically elected Armenian Prime Minister stated that Karabagh was Armenia.
However, as you may know, Azerbaijan’s corrupt and authoritarian regime has been getting ready for this war for 30 years by using their petro-dollars to purchase state-of-the-art attack weapons and arms.
Also, Azerbaijan tried to take over Nagorno- Karabakh by force during the Four Day War in April 2016, yet did not succeed.
The extent of xenophobia against Armenians in Azerbaijan is enormous. The words “Armenia” and “Armenians” are simply prohibited in Azerbaijan and the country glorifies a murderer, Ramil Safarov, who beheaded an Armenian officer in his sleep during joint military drills under NATO’s auspices in Hungary.
War is a terrible crime and there is no justification to the war  launched by the Turkish-Azeri tandem against the peaceful population of Nagorno Karabakh, especially at a time when the world is preoccupied with its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
While he NY Times article seems to justify the atrocious campaign launched by the Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem against the de facto independent Nagorno Karabakh Republic, we are of the view that instigators and aggressors of this war must be punished in full force of law to prevent any similar future adventurism.
Best Regards,
Gohar Ghantarchyan
******

Dear Editor,

I am writing regarding your recent article titled In Azerbaijan, a String of Explosions, Screams and Then Blood.

This piece clearly lacks factual representation of the situation and some of the claims made throughout the article are either biased or deceiving. I would like to address those in this letter explaining why I think you should take down the article and address those mistakes in a follow-up article.

First and foremost, the article suggests that the Armenian side was responsible for the explosions in Barda. The article however presents zero evidence to prove this claim. Normally, defense forces alert their residents of rocket strikes through air sirens, allowing them to take shelter. There is no mention of air sirens sounding in the city prior to the explosions, which confirms that there was no rocket attack on the city of Barda. If there was one, hypothetically speaking, the lack of air sirens would indicate the intention of the Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defence to not warn their citizens and deliberately cause civilian casualties in an attempt to blame those on the Armenian side.

Four days prior to these explosions US embassy in Azerbaijan released a security alert based on credible reports of potential terror attacks being planned in Azerbaijan (https://az.usembassy.gov/security-alert-for-u-s-citizens/ ) This further proves that the explosions might have been a result of terrorist actions on the ground and had nothing to do with the Armenian side.

Some of the photos used in this article also give us ground to believe that they are staged. In the main photo of the article, “Fuad Ismayilov’s sister [is seen kissing] his hand shortly after he was killed in a rocket attack launched by Armenian forces on the city of Barda .” Faud Ismayilov’s alleged body is seen on a rug in front of a green building, covered with what seems to be a tablecloth. A few photos later, the body is on the ground in front of a completely different building. The perfectly clean leaves can be seen on top of the bloody ground, making it evident that they were added to the scene after the alleged blood. The alleged doctors in other photos are also seen with no gloves, a serious violation of medical code.

This wouldn’t be the first time Azerbaijani media faked such imagery – they have already been exposed many times for using such practices, including using kids in front of blue screens to create propaganda posters – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLhRSS9T384
Lastly, the article fails to mention the fact that the civilians and civilian buildings of Nagorno Karabakh, including hospitals, churches and schools, have been continuously bombed with prohibited weapons for the past month, to this very day – https://twitter.com/mfankr/status/1321554756901474312

I call for your editorial to remove the article from your website and issue a follow-up article with an objective, fact-checked and comprehensive piece that illustrates the complete picture of the situation, without such bias towards one side.

Thank you,
Lazarus Mkrtchyan

******

Dear Editor,

We would like to correct certain inaccuracies in your Clashes over separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh continue (Oct. 25, 2020).

With the above in mind, we request that you take into consideration a follow-up article which corrects the inaccuracies of the earlier report.

  1. Your article says statements such as: “Fighting over the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region continued Sunday, as Armenia and Azerbaijan… blamed each other” and “recent outburst of fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, which broke out on Sept. 27, … over the region that lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994.”
  • The description “fighting over the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region” and “fighting broke out on Sept. 27” is incorrect. Nagorno-Karabakh is in a defense position with no interest in attacking Azerbaijan. Given the size of the Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenian population of approx. 3 million compared to that of 92 million (10 million Azerbaijan and 83 million Turkey) plus mercenaries, it should be evident that Armenian forces have no interest in blocking a ceasefire or starting a fight. As of Sept. 27th Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey, started a full-scale attack along the line of contact against the peaceful population of Nagorno-Karabakh. This aggression and full-scale attack has evidently been planned for a long time by Turkey and Azerbaijan.
  • Further, the use of the word “separatist” and “within Azerbaijan” when referring to the Nagorno-Karabakh region is incorrect.  Nagorno-Karabakh, during the Soviet era, had an autonomous status under administration of Soviet Azerbaijan. Just as Azerbaijan had declared independence from the Soviet Union, so did Nagorno-Karabakh declare independence (1991), according to Soviet law and N-K’s constitutional rights. Please see the following article for the correct chronology of Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence from Soviet Azerbaijan: Does Nagorno-Karabakh have the legal right to independence? and Law on Secession from the USSR provide the correct sequence of events. A referendum was held in 1991 in which 99.98% of voters voted for independence from the USSR and NKR declared itself a Republic in 1992. If one is to use the word seperatist, then all the countries in 1991 who declared independence from the Soviet Union should be called separatists or referred to as being “within the Soviet Union.”
  • In addition the expression: “under the control of ethnic Armenian forces” is incorrect. Nagorno-Karabakh is independent and autonomous. The Armenians who live there are indigenous to the land, and they do not control the area but rather live there according to their lawful rights of self determination.
  1. The article further includes expressions such as: “The four weeks of fighting has prompted concerns of a wider conflict involving Turkey, which has thrown its weight behind Azerbaijan, and Russia, which has a security pact with Armenia” and “Aliyev charged that Armenia was seeking Russia’s military support in the conflict zone, and warned that it was “very dangerous.”
  • Turkey has been part of the war from day one. The international community has confirmed Turkey’s participation (militarily and provision of Syrian mercenaries.)
  • When mentioning Russia’s defence pact with Armenia, the article creates the perception that the war launched against Nagorno Karabakh has a balance of power through Russia. Russia is only Armenia’s security partner which does not include involvement in any conflict between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh. Therefore, the enormous imbalance of power is misconstrued here, as Nagorno-Karabakh (pop. 150,000) supported by 3-million Armenia is being attacked by Azerbaijan and Turkey, with a combined population of 94 million with thousands of hired Syrian mercenaries.
  • Your article points out Aliyev’s charge that “Armenia was seeking Russia’s military support” meanwhile ignores that Azerbaijan is fully backed by Turkey. Aliyev warns of the dangers of involvement of third parties on the Armenian side so he can continue his asymmetrical war against the Armenians.

Best Regards,

Arusyak Karapetyan

******

Dear New York Times Editor,

I would like to respond to the inaccuracies and misrepresentations found within your  Roots of War: When Armenia Talked Tough, Azerbaijan Took Action (Oct. 27,2020) by Carlotta Gall, who is the Istanbul bureau chief for The New York Times, covering Turkey. To say the story is skewed and dangerous would be an understatement, and it substantially ruins the credibility of New York Times.

“For years, the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia had agreed to postpone discussion about the status of the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, to avoid inflaming passions. But that changed suddenly this spring, when Armenia’s populist prime minister declared the area indisputably Armenian.”

For the context, saying Artsakh (i.e. Nagorno-Karabakh) is Armenian meant that Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh are indigenous to the land. Nagorno-Karabakh is Armenian in terms of history and culture, dating back centuries. Moreover, Nagorno-Karabakh has NEVER been part of independent Azerbaijan. For more on that later.

Saying “that changed suddenly this spring” is utterly wrong. Facts indicate that Azerbaijan along with Turkey had been preparing for this war for decades. The officials from Baku indicated in 2004 “Within the next 25 years there will be no state of Armenia in the South Caucasus. These people … have no right to live in the region. … Our goal is complete elimination of Armenians.”  (see page 50 of the hyperlink).  If that is not enough, the President of Azerbaijan announced the following on his Twitter account in 2015.

To Azerbaijanis, who lost a bitter, unresolved war with Armenia over the region in the 1990s, the remark by the prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, landed with explosive force. Even more infuriating, it was delivered in Shusha, a city that Azerbaijanis regard as their cultural capital but that lies in territory lost during the war.

The city of Shushi (NOT Shusha) is a home to [Holy Saviour of all] Ghazanchetsots Cathedral, one of the most beautiful Armenian Cathedrals built in 18th century time period, when Azerbaijan did not exist. There is NO Azerbaijani cultural element on the land of Shushi.

The two countries returned to all-out war a month ago, with Azerbaijan determined to retake the roughly 13 percent of its land that Armenia seized 26 years ago, displacing 800,000 Azerbaijanis in the process. The fighting threatens to draw in Turkey, on the Azerbaijani side, and Russia, which backs Armenia.

Azerbaijan started the war. And the fighting is not “threatening” to draw in Turkey. It was started with Turkey along with hired Syrian mercenaries.

I urge anyone quoting any refugee or internally displaced statistics, to go back and look at the official Soviet Union statistics and see how many Azeris were living in Armenia, Artsakh, and territories of strategic self-defense importance that are currently under the Artsakh control. Equally important is to check and see how many Armenians were living in Baku, Sumgait, and other parts of Azerbaijan. I also encourage everyone to read about Sumgait pogrom, Baku pogrom, Kirovabad pogrom, etc. The number of refugees was large on both sides, but under 600,000 on both sides. Moreover, in the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh proper, there were only 40,000 Azeris living in late 1980’s, representing around 20% of population. Moreover, the number of Azeris had been growing over time: in 1940, there were only 14,000 Azeris living in Nagorno-Karabakh proper and representing less than 9.5% of population. That number grew to 18,000 or nearly 14% by 1960 and kept growing. Azerbaijan during the Soviet period was silently trying to change the demographics and cultural heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh. Facts and statistics matter! Enough of spreading fake, statistics, and information.

Mr. Aliyev is demanding that Armenian forces withdraw to internationally recognized borders in keeping with United Nations Security Council resolutions and basic principles agreed to in previous negotiations. These were the terms agreed upon 10 years ago but never implemented, and analysts say that Armenia became less ambiguous this year about claiming Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts seized during the war.

First of all, I urge every single reporter to read UN Security Council’s resolutions before making any references to it. UN Security Council resolutions were adopted in the interest of enforcing ceasefire.  First it is important to understand that there was a Soviet Union and so one has first to refer to the  Law on Secession from the USSR. Nagorno-Karabakh, during the Soviet era, had an autonomous status under administration of Soviet Azerbaijan. Just as Azerbaijan had declared independence from the Soviet Union, so did Nagorno-Karabakh, in full compliance with USSR’s laws and according to Nagorno-Karabakh’s constitutional rights. A referendum was held in 1991 in which 99.98% of voters voted for independence from the USSR. Please see the following article for the correct chronology of Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence from Soviet Union: Does Nagorno-Karabakh have the legal right to independence?. Also note that in 1988, the European Parliament adopted a resolution supporting the demands of the people of Nagrono-Karabakh to unite with Soviet Armenia.

“But the Armenians also played their part with provocative moves.”

Indigenous Armenians in Artsakh were simply living their lives and making decisions based on their own needs. They have their basic right to self-determination according to international law! The so-called “provocations” are Aliyev’s and his officials’ own words spreading hostility and ethnic cleansing message towards ALL Armenians, both in Artsakh and in Armenia. Again, please refer to his tweet and official documents cited above.

All the while, Mr. Aliyev, who inherited the presidency from his father in 2003, was using his country’s oil and gas wealth to build up the military, purchasing advanced weapons and sending officers for NATO-standard training in Turkey.

Indeed, Mr. Aliyev has been in power for over 17 years, inherited by his father and total dictator. His father, Heydar Aliyev, has acknowledged himself that “Nagorno-Karabakh is no longer Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has neither state governance nor any policies over Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Not only Aliyev was using oil and gas wealth to build up the military, but also spent over $150 billion to corrupt foreign journalists, politicians, lobbyists. BGR Group in Washington DC is one of the lobbyist organizations that took oil and gas corruption money to advocate for Azerbaijan.

Armenian soldiers fired on an Azerbaijani military vehicle, touching off heavy cross-border exchanges that killed more than a dozen people, including several officers.

Azerbaijan started the war in July as well as in September. They have constantly used internationally banned weapons such as cluster bombs, to target civilian infrastructure, including churches, schools, kindergartens, hospitals and leaving many civilians, including kids and women, dead and injured.

Turkey has promised active support in Azerbaijan were to run into difficulties.

Once again, Turkey is actively supporting Azerbaijan as well as sending Syrian mercenaries and jihadists to fight on behalf of Azerbaijan.

I have highlighted some of the many false information in the article. This article is troubling and dangerous as it spreads misinformation and promotes the Azerbaijani / Turkish agenda of ethnic cleansing of ALL Armenians as discussed above. Even the Genocide Watch group issued a Genocide warning for Armenians. We kindly request and demand that you delete the article to prevent yet another genocide.

Thank you!

Lusine Dadayan

3 comments
  1. Even before this war, much of the US media, with which I am most familiar, had proven itself to be biased and incompetent in many ways.
    In the case of this war, they have outdone themselves in terms of bias and ignorance.

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