Prof. Z. S. Andrew Demirdjian, Los Angeles, 25 July 2023
The African gazelle is one of the most beautiful animals in Africa. When gazelles graze together, there is the atmosphere of safety for the individual members from predators for the herd puts up a concerted effort to ward off attacks often coming from hyenas. Those which stray away from the group run the risk of being hunted down by the predators.
I shall use the gazelle analogy to stress to Armenian patriots who wish to ease the hardships suffered by the brutalized Artsakh people.
As the hyenas come within a short distance of a carefree rambling gazelle, they pounce on it from all sides. The gazelle’s first instinct is to flee, but the chase ends when a team of hyenas surround the gazelle.
The only ray of hope for the survival of the lone gazelle is when miraculously, a group of gazelles appears on the scene, charging toward the hyenas.
This is one side of the analogy, which is a comparison between two things, typically for the purpose of explanation, emphasis, or clarification. To render an analogy meaningful between the workings of nature and those of human societies, we need to compare the fate of the stray gazelle with the present situation, with the plight of the Armenians of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).
Here is the second part of the analogy: Armenians of Artsakh Under Blockade. On December 12, 2022, Azerbaijani so-called environmentalists blocked the Berdzor (Lachin) Corridor for any Armenian thoroughfare, which is the only link of the Artsakh people with the friendly outside world. Thus, merciless Azerbaijan has begun to starve and strangle the isolated people of Artsakh just like a lone gazelle is hunted down by hyenas.
During the first Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) war in the 1990s, Artsakh, Armenia, the Diaspora were all united and their solidarity made them win the war. Thereafter, Artsakh became a republic with all the vital trappings of democracy.
The Armenian generals, government officials, and Armenians around the globe had become a true, vibrant nation ready to defend the motherland just like the herd of gazelles united to counter-attack the hyenas when one of their members is in danger.
However, since the washout of the 44-Day War with Azerbaijan, Artsakh seems to have been separated from the rest of the Armenian “herd”. It is alone to fend for itself against the aggression of the Azerbaijani “hyenas” or rather beasts like Turkey, Pakistan, the Israeli military experts, the mercenaries from Syria and Libya and so on.
Since December 12, 2022, Artsakh has been placed in a siege of starvation to succumb to Azerbaijani demands or face an ethnic cleansing through genocide. Russia, France, the EU, United States offer sympathy and ideas to surrender to Azerbaijan in return to questionable promise of peace.
Artsakh is alone now and is unable to put up a fight against Azeri aggression. All hopes are dashed and the fledgling republic is sinking. The only hope of survival is for the Armenian Diaspora to act in a timely manner to arm the people of Artsakh against the present and future aggression coming from Azerbaijan.
The preceding analogy was presented to emphasize the crucial role of the Armenian Diaspora in rescuing Artsakh. The Armenian Diaspora, like the gazelle herd, is the only gleam of hope for the survival of Artsakh–and yet the Diaspora leaders seem to be waiting to attend the funeral of Artsakh before they act to save it. A paradox? Maybe not, but it is certainly a shameful anomaly.
For a tiny Republic of Armenia, there is a vast diaspora, which has recently produced 12 billionaires. While most Armenians are not rich, they are comfortably situated and can donate money toward establishing a factory to produce or assemble anti-drone devices just as Greece has done to counter possible Turkish drone attacks in Cyprus.
Again, the reason I used an analogy is to emphasize the criticality of the necessity of acting on time to save Artsakh, which has become the pride of the Armenian nation for regaining part of the motherland after six centuries of occupation by various neighboring nations. Besides, the West says we need to return Artsakh to Azerbaijan for a lasting peace!
As David Boyajian has poignantly formulated in one of his recent articles, Azerbaijan = (Corrupt+Terrorist+ Evil), the in-group of Azerbaijan’s thinking is also warped by greed. The Azeris do not only want Artsakh, but virtually the whole of the Republic of Armenia by terrorizing the Armenian people in both republics. President Ilham Aliyev’s mind is a victim of Stone Age instincts.
Self-sufficiency, self-reliance should become the life-saving religion of the Armenian nation. Let’s not forget, Artsakh now is very vulnerable for it has lost the regions around it, which were buffer zones to keep the enemy at bay. Now, the enemy is too close for comfort.
We can learn a lot from the workings of nature. The lone gazelle died a torturous death; so will the people of Artsakh perish if the Diaspora leaders fail to gallop to its rescue in a timely manner.
The Armenian Diaspora, like the gazelle herd, should immediately reach out to rescue the people of Artsakh. Similar to a lone gazelle attacked by a gang of hyenas, Artsakhtsis are surrounded by the genocidal Azerbaijani forces to annihilate them just like the Western Armenians were put to the sword in the 1915-1923 Armenian Genocide.
Preventing Azeri ethnic cleansing of the encircled people of Artsakh in their ancestral land should be every true Armenian’s urgent priority. Every voice, loud or soft; every compatriot, white collar or blue collar; every pocket, deep or shallow would contribute toward saving our own people to live safely and securely in their corner of the Armenian Homeland.
Weighing Artsakh’s chances of winning the third war with Azerbaijan, one would conclude that Artsakh would need modern weapons. The Armenian Diaspora has the ways and means to make a difference by facing the challenge to arm the people of Artsakh for survival from the Azeri inhumane treatment.
If nothing comes in the way of rescue, the 120,000 beleaguered people of Artsakh would shout: Don’t cry for us, Diaspora, for letting us die now by the poisoned paws and fangs of Azerbaijan!
Let us remember that an idea — no matter how great — does not germinate unless it falls on a fertile mind. The Armenian Diaspora is full of great minds.
Here is the plea that may be echoed by many thousands and thousands of Armenians around the globe: For a few million dollars, we would be able to arm Artsakh against the Azeri present and unprovoked aggressions. After all, rescuing the “drowning” would cleanse our conscience of any guilt feelings arising from being only a bystander to a heinous crime in the making.
Look at these thousands of peaceful people who want to survive in their ancestral lands. They are our resilient brothers and sisters. Mind you, thousands of the maligned indigenous people of Artsakh are at great risk of being ethnic cleansed by the cruel “hyenas” of Azerbaijan whose Stone Age instincts are to plunder and to kill. How can we leave these people at the mercy of known criminals? Armenia seems to be ready to relinquish Artsakh. As a result, the only hope for survival is the rescue coming from the Armenian Diaspora just like the herd of gazelles rush to save the life of one of its own kind in peril. Diaspora leaders ought to rise to the occasion now and become magnanimous for saving the freedom-loving indigenous men, women, and children of Artsakh –as one of the precious parts of the Armenian historical Homeland.