By Lucine Kasbarian and “Friends of Keghart”, 18 December 2022
Continuing a Keghart annual tradition, we present the Heroes and Villains of 2022.
H E R O E S
Courageous Christians who are being persecuted all over the globe yet stand firm in their faith.
120,000 ethnic Armenians in Artsakh who are being held under siege as Azerbaijan blocks the humanitarian Berdzor (Lachin) corridor, their only link to Armenia and the outside world, and cut off their gas supply as temperatures plummet to freezing levels, with nary a peep from the world.
Armenian Soldiers many of whom sacrificed their lives, underwent torture and/or are being held as POW by Azerbaijan. Soldier Anush Apetyan who was raped, tortured, mutilated and murdered by the enemy.
Ashkharazor, Bever, VOMA, Zarg and other organizations for arranging self-defense and survival training to civilians.
Polish statesman Tomasz Lech Buczek, activist João Diogo Pinto and Dustin Hoffmann, policy adviser for a German representative in the EU Parliament, for persisting in the quest for justice for Armenians at the expense of their safety. US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and members of US Congress Anna Eshoo, Jackie Speier and Frank Pallone for naming Azeri aggression and visiting Armenia to express solidarity. Senator Bob Menendez for leading initiatives to halt military assistance to Azerbaijan and rebuking the US State Department for conducting secret relations with Azerbaijan.
Iran, India, Greece and Greek Cyprus which have supported Armenia’s territorial integrity.
The Armenian Assembly of America and The Armenian National Committee of America for mobilizing constituents to sound the alarm with elected officials in support of Armenia/Artsakh. The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention for calling out mainstream media for biased reporting regarding the Azeri-Turkish invasion of Armenia and for exposing “Maroon Berets: 2030,” a vile, Turkish-produced role-playing game, propaganda piece and training tool that glorifies war crimes against Armenians. The Gatestone Institute and the Mises Institute for publishing articles about the perfidious actions of Turkey and Azerbaijan. Christian Solidarity International and International Christian Concern, for exposing Azeri and Turkish persecution of Armenians. Initiatives funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to help Western and Eastern Armenian language instructors and artists establish learning resources to secure our language for coming generations.
Whistleblowers Craig Whitlock (Washington Post reporter), Nate Jones (Washington Post Freedom of Information Act Director) and R. Philip Deavel, retired director of the Air Force Review Boards Agency, who exposed that in exchange for facilitating US/NATO military supply routes to Afghanistan, Azerbaijan would be entitled to a closer US-Azerbaijan diplomatic partnership, $369 million in defense contracts to their government-controlled Silk Way Airlines, and lucrative Azeri consulting jobs for two US Air Force Generals upon their retirement.
Journalists Jean-Christophe Buisson (Le Figaro magazine), geopolitics specialist Sylvain Tesson, Indian journalist Kapil Komireddi, and Swedish reporter Rasmus Canbäck for defending Armenian self-determination, thus earning a place on Azerbaijan’s “black list.” Kevork Almassian, founder/host of Syriana Analysis who has been outspoken about the Artsakh and Syrian invasions despite attacks and death threats. Media critic David Davidian for fighting the Internet information war by smacking down “fake news” keyboard commandos for Azerbaijan, Turkey and Israel. Persuasive essayist Michael Rubin for his hard-hitting articles about the plight of Armenia at the hands of Turkey/Azerbaijan. Journalists Trey Blanton (Christians in Need Foundation), Billy Hallowell (Christian Broadcasting Network) and Chuck Holton (Newsmax) who continuously sound the alarms about Azeri assaults on Armenia and Artsakh.
Bedross Der Matossian for revealing damning information in his book, The Horrors of Adana. Coptic Egyptian-American academic Raymond Ibrahim for his frequent articles about the harassed Armenian nation and his revelatory book, Defenders of the West: The Christian Heroes Who Stood Against Islam. Kurdish-American scholar Ümit Kurt, author of The Armenians of Aintab, for exposing Turkish greed and envy that propelled genocidal actions against the Armenians.
Volunteer attorneys affiliated with the Center for Truth and Justice, who are collecting/presenting evidence to international bodies about Azeri and Turkish atrocities against Armenians. Cartographer Ruben Galichian for exposing Azerbaijan’s false historical narrative. Rananjay Anand, president of the Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO, for his unstinting support of Armenia. Kim Kardashian, who has 74 million followers on Twitter and 34 million followers on Facebook, for again putting Armenia on the social media map and financially contributing to Armenia/Artsakh’s well-being. Blunt Post radio host/filmmaker Vic Gerami for producing the award-winning documentary, Motherland, about the 2020 unprovoked Azeri assault on Artsakh. Singer-songwriter, instrumentalist and pedagogue Sevana Tchakerian for reinventing creative ways to engage and educate young Armenians through music.
Wrestler Artur Alexanyan (gold medal in the 97-kg division) at the 2022 World Wrestling Championships and beating Azeri Arif Niftullayev. Gymnast Artur Davtyan for being crowned vaulting World Champion. Mariam Mkrtchyan for winning the Girls 18-year-old category of the World Youth Chess Championships. Mariam dedicated her victory to our soldiers guarding the border. Boxer Erik Israyelyan for winning the gold at the 2022 International Boxing Association’s European Youth Boxing Championship. At the same competition, Ares Hakobyan won silver in the 147-lbs division. Basketball player Turkish-American Enes Kanter Freedom for rebuking Erdogan’s dictatorship and Turkey’s racist educational system in defiance of repeated death threats.
V I L L A I N S
Turkey, Azerbaijan and Israel for coordinating the genocidal attack on Artsakh/Armenia and continuing to advance their agenda. Russia, the ostensible defender of Armenia while it abets Azerbaijan. Ukraine for its pro-Azeri/Turkey policy.
Terrorists recruited by ISIS (Turkey) who tortured Armenian soldiers and civilians and destroyed all vestige of Armenian civilization on Azeri-occupied lands.
Governments and People of the World for remaining silent while a genocide of the Armenians was and is underway.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the US State Department which covertly and overtly assisted Turkey and Azerbaijan in the asymmetric war. The United Nations, which does nothing to curb the aggressor.
Vladimir Putin for withholding military support and betraying Armenians. Ilham Aliyev and Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a thousand reasons. “Catholicos” Karekin II, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, Robert Kocharyan, Serzh Sargsyan, Bako Sahakyan, and Arkady Ghukasyan who bilked the nation, obstructed national defense efforts and were absent from defense activity during the war. Nikol Pashinyan for incompetence, cowardice and treachery. Patriarch Nourhan Manougian for illegally signing a 99-year lease for a vital tract of church land and jeopardizing Armenian national patrimony and presence in Jerusalem. Joe Biden who illegally lifted Section 907 (a permanent block on US arm sales to Azerbaijan) one day after recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko for his demeaning remarks about Armenia and pro-Azeri statements. Oligarch Gagik Tsarukyan who plans to build a 33-meter Christ statue instead of investing in defense technology. US Ambassador Lynne Tracy and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kopyrkin for their counterproductive political jockeying. Losing senatorial candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, the snake-oil selling dual citizen who refuses to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.
Anti-Armenian and pro-Azeri/Turkey think tanks and their mouthpieces such as The American Jewish Committee (David Harris); The Atlantic Council (Taras Kuzio); The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (Brenda Schaffer); The Heritage Foundation (James Jay Carafano); The Hudson Institute (Michael Doran and Luke Coffey); and Jewish Institute for National Security of America (Svante Cornell), among others.
Mainstream corporate media for sins of omission, presenting untruths and false balance.
“Presstitutes” who promote the Aliyev regime and advance the dual Israel-Azerbaijan agenda while depicting Armenia as the aggressor: Rachel Avraham, John Batchelor, Matthew Bryza, Robert Cutler, Nurit Greenger, Maayan Hoffman, Jacob Kamaras, Jason Katz, François Margolin and Irina Tsukerman.
Fake news on online apps such as Twitter (pre-Elon Musk) manipulating hashtags to portray Armenia as the aggressor. False online Azeri narratives claiming Armenia owned the top VPN (virtual private network) companies in an attempt to dissuade domestic usage of the Internet. Azeri Internet mercenaries who issued posts and tweets demeaning Azeri journalists, politicians, and activists who criticized Azerbaijan’s invasion of Artsakh/ Armenia.