Looking Back in Dismay

Keghart.org, Editorial, 19 January 2021

Of the hundreds of articles and editorials Keghart has published since its founding in 2007, the majority have been about Diaspora issues and personalities and about politics, history, the struggle for Genocide recognition, Western Armenia, Cilicia, literature, church, music, and successive Turkish government distortion of history. As a Diaspora-based online publication, it’s only natural that our focus would be the Diaspora while our Armenia and Artsakh content—until recently—would be marginal. But looking back at what we have published in the past fifteen years, we discovered that we had addressed many of the challenges that have become front and centre news in Armenia and elsewhere since the Turkbeijan invasion of Sept. 27. Below we have picked excerpts from relevant articles and editorials. Their publication date is at the end of each selection.—Editor.

“… That brings us to the question of Armenia’s military capabilities and readiness. The military might of Armenia is a mystery. As many Armenians, including Keghart.com readers, have pointed out, a country with three million population can’t have a sizeable army, despite mandatory conscription. It cannot match the Azeri military whose 2009 expenditures were close to 2.5 billion dollars. Azerbaijan has a domestic defense industry which manufactures small arms, artillery systems, tanks, armor, aircraft bombs, pilotless vehicles, military planes and helicopters, according to Wikipedia… “It seems that no week passes without Baku threatening Armenia and Artsakh with war. It’s time Armenians of Armenia and Diaspora thought of improving the military capabilities of our motherland. Depending solely on traditional Armenian patriotism and high morale will result in disaster. Those were vital factors during Artsakh War battles, but since then Azerbaijan has learned some important lessons, and its military has become stronger and more sophisticated, thanks to the input of international military suppliers and advisors…” Oct. 18, 2010

“…One doesn’t have to be uber-military strategist Karl von Clausewitz or Marshall Hovhannes Bagramyan to know that Armenia shouldn’t seek war with Azerbaijan, but acting reluctantly is not unusual for states. For example, is it a good idea to launch a pre-emptive war when your enemy is getting stronger by the day…” Oct. 26, 2010

“…Does President Putin decide who runs Armenia?” Jan. 1, 2013

“In his inaugural address on April 9, President Serzh Sargsyan said: ‘let me highlight the three main priorities: emigration, unemployment, and poverty.’ No mention of the military.” Jan. 1, 2013

“…Moscow has sabotaged or rejected closer ties between Yerevan and Tehran. Moscow wants to be the only game in town for Armenia. Russia has also made no secret that it wants its soldiers in southern Armenia and in Nagorno-Karabakh as ‘peacemakers.’ …It’s almost obtuse to mention that twenty-three years after independence, Armenia finds itself in a dismal, if not untenable state. A corrupt oligarchic regime continues to maintain its stranglehold on the country. How can a sclerotic economy and anorexic demographics sustain an army capable of overcoming nine-million-population Azerbaijan?” Oct. 9, 2014

“If Armenia’s population decline continues, Yerevan-Stepanagerd could be forced to make suicidal concessions to Baku or even opt to join the Russian Federation. In the above circumstances, a besieged Armenia/Nagorno-Karabakh might also be tempted to go for a preemptive strike of bellicose Azerbaijan.” Oct. 9, 2014

“…The latter [Azerbaijan] already buys weapons from 18 countries, especially high-tech equipment from Israel. In early September it was announced that Russia will probably deliver more than 100  T-90S tanks in April. One wonders what else Russia is selling in secret to the Baku petroclan.” Oct. 9, 2014

“ Rather than stop the arms exports to Azerbaijan, Russia is now selling strategic and offensive rockets the equivalent of which Armenia doesn’t have…” Oct. 31, 2014

“…Frequently in the past year Baku mediacrats, bureaucrooks and assorted hired buffoons have declared that Armenia is part of historic Azerbaijan. If Azerbaijan beats Armenia Baku would establish a land bridge to Turkey…” Oct. 31, 2014

“If one is to believe Armenian government’s [Serzh Sargsyan] carefully selected statistics of the country’s standing among the states that make up the United Nations, Armenia appears to be a liberal democracy, with a steady improvement in its standard of living… but in the Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum, in overall quality of infrastructure Azerbaijan received 4.4 points, Georgia 4.6 points and Armenia 4.0, behind Syria, Albania, Cambodia, Jamaica, Swaziland, Suriname, Botswana, Rwanda, Guatemala.” March 10, 2015

“…Although as interior minister, he [Serzh Sargsyan] was one of the people who dumped President Levon Ter-Petrosyan (1997) supposedly for agreeing to implement the Kazan document for phased withdrawal, he later admitted that he supported that very document… Will Sargsyan, with Putin’s backing, agree to Azeri demands and hand over Karabakh?” July 17, 2016

“…Impatient due to the slow pace of “progress” at the negotiating table, erratic Aliev may decide to hit Karabakh/Armenia for a number of reasons. A war of attrition is slow in producing results; an increasingly impatient Azeri public—long promised victory—might force Aliev’s hand to resort to a military solution. Considering the meager gains of the April war, Aliev might decide to go for broke and declare war on Karabakh/Armenia…” July 17, 2016

“When Samvel Babyan, Karabakh’s former top military commander visited Karabakh soon after the 2016 mini-war, he criticized the Armenian military leadership and urged for urgent “modernization” of the two armies… Perhaps Hrant Bagratian, former prime minister of Armenia and now MP, and retired Maj. Gen. Arcady Ter-Tadevosyan were admitting the Armenian forces are weaker than that of the Azeris when the pair said that Armenia could deploy nuclear bombs if threatened by Armageddon.” July 17, 2016

“Iran, a friend of Armenia, has become chummy with Azerbaijan and Turkey. On August 9, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia signed tripartite agreement for a North-South railway which would by-pass Armenia, further isolating Armenia. The economic integration project could encourage Iran to use Azerbaijan as corridor for its exports to Europe. The reconfiguration/new alliances would intensify Armenia’s isolation.” Aug. 27, 2016

“…We have an ally which sells arms to our enemy and blithely justifies the unprecedented treacherous act by “explaining” that if it didn’t, another country would. ‘Nothing personal, you see’ it’s just bizness.’ Words that would make a Mafia godfather proud. Aug. 27, 2016

“After 25 years of negotiations about Karabakh’s future, Armenia has run out of time. Ilham Aliev has also run out of time. After years of promising his people he would take Karabakh, Aliev finds himself in a ‘put up or shut up’ position. Trapped by his rhetoric, Aliyev has to attack Karabakh/Armenia unless through negotiations it gets the land he has promised his people.”    Aug. 27, 2016


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