Ensuring This is the Last Azeri Attack

Harut Sassounian, Publisher, The California Courier, 5 April 2015
The world woke up last Saturday morning to the drumbeats of war from a large-scale assault by Azerbaijan on tiny Artsakh (Karabagh).

This was not a surprise attack! For many years, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has had the nasty habit of launching military attacks on the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh whenever international peace talks or Summit Meetings were being held.

Harut Sassounian, Publisher, The California Courier, 5 April 2015
The world woke up last Saturday morning to the drumbeats of war from a large-scale assault by Azerbaijan on tiny Artsakh (Karabagh).

This was not a surprise attack! For many years, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has had the nasty habit of launching military attacks on the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh whenever international peace talks or Summit Meetings were being held.

Even a casual observer of this long-running conflict could have guessed that Azerbaijan would launch yet another attack during last weekend’s Nuclear Security Summit hosted by Pres. Obama and attended by 50 heads of state, including Presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. Some observers were surprised by the large scale of the Azeri attack which involved tanks, helicopters, missiles, and drones. In fact, the scope of the assault should not have come as a surprise, given Azerbaijan’s technological escalation of aggression in recent years. Aliyev’s sinister practice of timing military attacks with peace talks or international conferences reflects his intensive efforts to keep the Artsakh conflict as a burning issue at all cost.
Certainly, Pres. Aliyev is increasingly frustrated by his inability to intimidate Armenians into giving up the territory of Artsakh despite Azerbaijan’s purchase of multi-billion dollars of modern weaponry. Aliyev is also distressed by his failure to use his country’s vast oil and gas resources as an inducement to pressure world leaders into supporting Azerbaijan in the Artsakh conflict. As a result, the Baku dictator has wasted huge amounts of his country’s wealth to bribe foreign officials and purchase expensive but ineffective weapons.
Furthermore, as Azerbaijan’s father and son Presidential Dynasty, the Aliyevs have persistently threatened to attack and “liberate the occupied territories of Karabagh” for over 20 years. Since they have cried wolf for far too long, very few Azeris take their president’s bravado talk too seriously. Consequently, Aliyev has been desperate to take any and all measures, no matter how reckless, to save face at home and abroad!
It is important to understand the timing and motive of Aliyev’s aggressive behavior so that other countries are not blamed for instigating these attacks which would only serve to shift attention from the only guilty party — Azerbaijan! However, there are other countries that have a share of the blame: First among these is Erdogan’s Turkey for its direct participation and support of Azerbaijan’s military misadventures. The Minsk Group of mediators (France, Russia, and United States) are also guilty for remaining silent during previous Azeri aggressions and blaming both sides each time Azerbaijan attacked Armenia or Artsakh. The international community’s shameful silence and doubletalk routinely equated the victimizer with the victim, thereby emboldening the warmongering Aliyev!
One particularly horrifying episode during this latest attack validated the concern of all those who have been warning for years about the risk of genocide threatening Artsakh’s Armenians. Over the weekend, when Azeri soldiers temporarily took over the Talish village, just inside Artsakh’s border, they not only executed an elderly Armenian couple, but barbarically cut off their ears as souvenirs! Such savagery, at a minimum, is a war crime under international law! Just imagine what these brutal Azeri soldiers would have done if they had overrun the entire population of Artsakh. It would have been a bloodbath of immense proportion — a second Armenian Genocide!
Three firm conclusions should be drawn from the latest massive Azeri aggression:
1) Artsakh Armenians can never go back to live under the despotic rule of Azerbaijan, no matter how many times Aliyev threatens or attacks.
2) Armenians should not just repel the Azeri forces, but inflict such massive destruction that Aliyev would never again think of another attack. Already, thousands of volunteers from all over Armenia have rushed to Artsakh’s defense. Azerbaijan is aware that its multi-billion dollar oil fields and pipelines are in easy reach of Armenia’s long-range missiles!

3) It is time to declare Artsakh an inseparable part of the Republic of Armenia. On April 4, Pres. Sargsyan told foreign ambassadors in Yerevan that if the hostilities continued and escalated, Armenia would “recognize Karabagh’s independence.”
The brave people of Artsakh desperately need everyone’s moral, political and material support! The Armenia Artsakh Fund of Glendale, California, gratefully welcomes your contributions to be able to ship urgently-needed millions of dollars of medicines and medical supplies the Fund has already collected. Please send your tax-deductible donations to: Armenia Artsakh Fund, 1101 N. Pacific Ave., #204, Glendale, CA 91202. Email: [email protected]; phone: 818-241-8900.

  1. Atrocity
    Dear Harout or others,

    Is there documentation of the Talish atrocity mentioned in the column?  Pictures of this should be all over at least the Armenian regular and social media.

    Anyone know more?



  2. Evidence Azeri Atrocity

    Yes, there is evidence of Azeri atrocity. It can be found on the Hetq website.
    triple w.hetq.am and then click on Վայրագութիւններ Թալիշում  of the 3rd of April. According to the report, they not only executed the elderly couple (Valery and Razmela Khalapyan) but also the 92-year-old mother (Marusya Khalapyan) of the elderly man.

    Syrian Armenian refugees in Canada are now reminded once more of the DAESH atrocities. It is this kind of war crimes that need to be prosecuted internationally and Canada can play a role in that.

    Canada also has international cease-fire monitors in missions with the OSCE in  Ukraine. Canadian-Armenians should push their government for a similar action on the Artsakh frontline. That is what the recently formed Armenian Canadian Council (ACC) is asking the Canadian government to do.

  3. What’s in a Name?

    The OSCE Minsk Group can be called a paper bear or a paper jackass. Take your pick.

  4. Trust and Friendship

    Don't trust fully the Russian government because despite being our allies it is selling arms to our enemy.
    I have great respect for the Russian people. They acknowledge our friendship.
    Any nation selling arms to our enemy can't be our friend.

    1. Trust

      Plus I heard that all the OSCE members want to install early detection technology to figure out who is starting these rounds of fighting… but Russia is opposed.  The last meeting at which it opposed this, soon after, this latest major assault took place.  The commentator (Shahnazaryan, a Levon Ter-Petrosyan ally) said that Russia wants to make sure it controls the conflict and be able to ignite it and turn it off ad lib.

      Can others who know more about this angle comment?


    2. Russia-bashing is Treason

      Armenia and Russia are brother nations that will stay in a symbiotic relation as far as the future shows. Russia-bashing in one form or another displays ignorance of history amounting to a treasonous act. Political maturity cannot dictate otherwise. 

      1. Treason is Russia’s sale of weapons to Azerbaijan…

        Armen, did you know that there is weapons embargo against Armenia and Azerbaijan since 1992? Russia has violated this embargo, which was put in place by the OSCE, which Russia happens to be a member state. Do you understand what this means? This means that Russia not only violated their own weapons embargo, but did so for a profit and to the detriment of Armenia. If Russia is our brother, he is an evil brother. 

  5. Kick Russia Out of the Caucasus

    The Russian Federation does not care what happens to Artsakh Armenians.
    All along Russia did not mind if Azerbaijan wiped out Artsakh. The Armenian leadership should clarify to the Russians that Armenia has options.

    If Russia's policy is to see Artsakh under Azerbaijan occupation = it should equal = Russia is out of the Caucasus. The borders of NATO will reach Chechnya, Kabardino Balkar, Ingushetia, Daghestan, Turkmenistan. So be it. Bring NATO and the American influence. The Russian Federation will be effectively surrounded by NATO from the west and south. The West will have access all the gas and oil from central Asia and thus Russia will be rendered irrelevant to Western interests.

    The destruction of the Russian Federation starts in the Caucasus (specifically Artsakh). Putin and his little boy Medvedev and their slave boy Lavrov can go to hell, along with their stupid federation.

    1. Kick Russia out of the Caucasus

      And you Think NATO will come to defend Armenia like Abkhazia in Georgia, Crimea, Eastern Ukraine?

      Please read our history. Only Armenians will defend Armenia. 

  6. How to Fight Back

    Thank you, Harout for the beautiful analysis that you always provide.

    We all agree that this should be the last attack on Armenia and NKR, but it won't be. Ilham Aliyev was testing the ground which he found bitter but we lost lives in the interim.
    There are several facts that we have to agree upon as a nation and as Diasporans before blaming Russia or other countries. We knew this was coming and we did very well, but the attacks will recur and they might not be as favorable to us next time.

    To summarize what we should do:

    1-Please understand that we are not Russia's allies. I lived in Russia for four years. Unless you have something to offer to Russia you are regarded a second-class citizen. Hence, if you want to be an ally, you should show a martial initiative. Meaning you should support Russia in Syria, for example. Then you would be looked as an equal partner and as an ally. What did we do to protect our interests in Syria? We ran to foreign embassies.

    2- For several years we have been asking the ministry of defense of Armenia to allow foreigners to train and serve in Armenia. This would have created a super- army available on demand that not only Armenians but Christians from the Middle east (Chaldeans, Syriacs, Assyrians and other minorities) could have defended their lands and home towns. But all we heard were bureaucratic negatives and military hazing. There are at least 1,000 Armenians in foreign armies who can provide support and logistic advice. Why did we not use them?

    3. Hayastan All-Armenia Fund: It was the brainchild of the first president but it has been related to Armenia corruption and opulence lately. Why? For years we asked for auditors and the answer was "no". Another example: why have we delayed the Vardenis-Karvajar-Martakert route so long. It should have been opened on day one of independence.

    4. Diplomacy versus aggression. It was agreed that on the eve of Armenia's independence to stop all forms of hostilities against Turkey and replace them by diplomatic and political campaign. That sounds like nonsense to me. Keep the diplomatic effort going but why ask for the dismantling of ASALA or other organizations that have terrorized Turkey? Look how easily they fly their Turkish Airlines everywhere.

    5. When the Azeris attack it is not enough merely to reply in kind. You have to reply, and slaughter them and grab their land. Make sure they see the blood in  Kura river. Thus they will not run away but emigrate to Turkmenistan where they belong. Our "bargeshd" answer seems idiotic and not effective.

    6. Why rely on Europe? Have we not learned our lesson from Benjamin Disraeli to Kaiser Wilhelm II? Europeans are so useless that they cannot decide on their own fate. Why did you leave matters in the hands of the OSCE and the useless French and American mediators? They have no interest in us.

    7. Next time hit their pipeline and sit on it. When you control the pipeline the British will come and negotiate. That is how the Europeans do deals. What good are you to me? You are Christian? So what? But if you are Christian and you control the oil then they make deals with you.

    I hope the above make the point to some readers in Yerevan's moronic political junta who are still in a cozy bed with the Europeans and the Russians.

    Given the fact that some of Armenia's diplomats and politicians have shown weakness in several areas, it is imperative that the Armenians of Cilicia–whatever their party affiliation–sit down and rethink their future. The future is not at embassies waiting for visas. The future is not in turning a blind eye. The future starts by digging in and fighting, right back from the streets of Aleppo.

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