By Serop Stepanian, Toronto, 4 October 2022
Every newspaper and magazine reader knows that one of the fundamental rules of journalism is to provide to the reader both sides of a story. Everybody knows it except apparently Robert M. Cutler. He describes himself as “editor and journalist” although his articles are to journalism what Velveeta is to cheese.
Cutler teaches at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. In the past year, Cutler has written nearly a dozen Armenophobe screeds. One wonders what makes a Canadian teacher so obsessed by a tiny and embattled country nearly 9,000 km. away.
The answer might very well be Israel.
Although Cutler’s article about the Armenia/Azerbaijan conflict assiduously don’t mention that Israel is the raison d’etre of Cutler’s hate-filled effusions.
This is how Cutler’s rationale and priorities likely stack up:
Armenia and Azerbaijan are in conflict. Azerbaijan is the undeclared ally of Israel. As a Zionist, it’s Cutler’s duty to hail the Azeri dictatorship and denounce democratic Armenia.
Once again: Armenia is friendly with Iran. Iran is an enemy of Israel. Ergo, Armenia is the enemy of Israel. Ergo, it’s kosher to revile Armenia.
The Hebrew word hesbara means advocacy: advocacy for Israel. Sayanim means assister/collaborator in Hebrew. Israel has a long-established hesbara program whereby Jews who don’t live in Israel are trained or encouraged to advocate the pro-Israeli viewpoint to non-Jews. Cutler’s anti-Armenian “think pieces” can be construed hesbara to promote Israeli interests. Polishing Azerbaijan’s image and denigrating Armenia’s is to advance Israel‘s interests. Cutler’s distortions, fabrications, evasions, omissions, and tampering with history have one goal writ large: advance Israel’s interests.
Space limitation restrict one from analyzing all of Cutler’s anti-Armenian antics of the past year. Instead, we will parse some parts of his three pro-Azerbaijan propaganda efforts: “Armenia Looks East, Azerbaijan Looks West,” “How Armenia Could Help Russia Break Sanctions,” “The Role of Armenians in French Elections.” Due to space limitations we will not include every article’s falsehood, gaff, and subterfuge.
1. “Armenia Looks East, Azerbaijan Looks West: Unexpected Changes in the South Caucasus” (Sept. 12, 2022)
A. Cutler writes: “Armenia while continually claims a Western heritage due to its Christianity…”
Correction: Armenia doesn’t claim Western heritage. Armenia is 2,800 years old. It’s much older than most European states. Since Armenia is the cradle of Indo-European people, since the Armenian language is a branch of the Indo-European language tree, and since Armenia shares democratic values with Europe, Armenia has close affinity to Europe. Incidentally, note the mocking “continually” in Cutler’s sentence.
B. “Armenia has only increased its tilt toward the anti-Western grouping…Russia, Iran, and China—that seek to destroy the current post-WWII rules-based international system.”
Correction: Armenia has not tilted towards China or Iran. While maintaining unavoidable ties to Russia, Armenia has close ties to the EU and the U.S. Cutler’s assertion that Russia, China, and Iran seek to destroy the rules-based international system is ridiculous. Cutler should ask himself who bombed Serbian civilians? Who wrecked prosperous Libya? Who accused Saddam Hussein of having WMDs? And who goaded Russia to attack Ukraine earlier this year? Who is stealing Syria’s oil? The list of “rules-based” West’s, (including Israel’s) depredations around the globe is inexhaustible.
C. “Iran has continued to demonstrate militant hostility against Azerbaijan’s interests, and even its very existence…”
Correction: Cutler provides no evidence. And what’s the difference between “hostility” and “militant hostility”? If Iran threatens the very 1 existence of Azerbaijan, why does it maintain far greater trade with Azerbaijan (over $500 million) than with Armenia ($300 million)? Why doesn’t Cutler criticize Azerbaijan for trading with Iran?
2. “How Armenia Could Help Russia Break Sanctions” (March 31, 2022)
A. Correction: This is a novel but clumsy leger-de-main: it’s accusing someone of a “crime” before the imagined “crime” is committed. Cutler could also crash his car into a “Salvation Army” donation box. Perhaps he should not be allowed to drive because there’s the potential that he might crash.
B. “Armenia’s trade with Russia has increased…”
Correction: Cutler wants to leave the impression that Armenia, unlike Azerbaijan, is becoming an important trading partner of Russia. Armenia’s trade with Russia is $2.1 billion. Azerbaijan’s is $2.03 billion. Of course, Cutler doesn’t want to mention the Azeri statistics.
C. “At the same time, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard has only been intensifying its military-industrial cooperation with Armenian economic leaders in technological and surveillance fields.”
Correction: As often is the case, Cutler provides no information to buttress his allegation. Neither does he mention Israel’s contribution to Azeri electronic espionage against Armenia. He also doesn’t mention Azerbaijan is the stamping ground of Mossad spies who infiltrate Iran through Azerbaijan and kill Iranian scientists and senior military figures. That kind of “surveillance” is naturally kosher for the obnoxious “journalist.”
D. “And, recently the deputy governor of the region in the south of the country THAT ARMENIA CALLS SYUNIK [our capitalization] met with the Chinese ambassador to Yerevan, in order to declare that he wants foreign direct investments in the region.”
Correction: So now it’s a crime for Armenia to welcome Chinese investment. En passant, Sly Cutler also cast doubts about Syunik’s legal status as sovereign Armenian territory.
E. “The pro-Armenian tilt of President Barack Obama, from the start of his first term in 2009, compounded a paralysis of U.S diplomacy toward the South Caucasus.”
Correction: Cutler provides no proof of Obama’s “crime”.
F. [Azerbaijan’s] military hostilities with Armenia in its Tavuz district.”
Correction: Cutler Photoshops the Azeri invasion of Armenia as “hostilities”.
G. [Armenia] has also clearly cooperates with the dictatorial theocracy of Iran likewise for decades.”
Correction: Aliyev is the head of a brutal dictatorship which persecutes minorities, imprisons journalists, tortures Armenian POWs, and beheads Armenian civilians. Azerbaijan is near the bottom of international human rights surveys. The crimes of Aliyev go unmentioned in the “journalist’s” verbal ejaculation. What about Israeli theocracy? After all, Israel’s justification of stealing Palestine is that God promised the land to Abraham.
H. “The South Caucasus is becoming a fault line between the two major tectonic plates of an ‘Anglosphere’ and a ‘Sinosphere.”
Correction: It must come as a surprise to Armenians that without their knowledge they have become member of something called Sinosphere.
3.”The Role of Armenia in French Elections” (January 11, 2022)
A. “Eric Zammour [French politician] recently visited Armenia to underline his overtly xenophobic and anti-immigrant program.”
Correction: Zammour went to Armenia uninvited. Armenia would have offended millions of Frenchmen had Yerevan refused entry to Zammour.
Then Cutler does a clumsy somersault and admits Armenia objected to Zammour’s visit but then adds: “It’s hard to know for certain why Armenian objections are raised against Zammour, but his Jewishness maybe a reason…” Aha. That turgid all-purpose ploy again: calling Armenia anti-Semitic is the last refuge of Azerbaijan-promoting scoundrels.
B. “It’s known from professional public-opinion surveys that Armenia is the second-most anti-Semitic country in Europe.”
Correction: Although the survey has been discredited, Cutler tries to revive the allegation. Cutler must think “professional public-opinion survey” is more credible than public-opinion survey.
During the Second World War, people in the Allied countries (Britain, France, Canada, U.S., etc.) used “German” and “Nazi” interchangeably. Their hatred of Germans was political and not racial. No doubt some Armenians in Armenia use Jewish and Israeli interchangeably. Since Israel is, along with Turkey, the number-one supporter of barbarian Azerbaijan, some Armenians probably express what might be considered anti-Semitic views although their animus is directed towards Israel. For the same reason (according to an Anti-Defamation League survey), 87 per cent of Libyans and Algerians harbour anti-Semitic attitudes while that figure rises to 92 per cent in Iraq.
C. “Armenian Christians outside France have long been symbolic for the conservative Catholic right in France.”
Correction: What does the nonsensical claim mean? It must come as news to the five to six million mostly Apostolic Church diaspora Armenians that they’re the pets of France’s Catholic right. Who knew?
Cutler then goes after Karekin Njdeh and calls him fascist.
Note: He doesn’t mention Njdeh became friendly with the Germans because he hoped a victorious Germany would liberate Armenia. Cutler doesn’t mention that a far greater number of Azeris joined the German army than Armenians.
Cutler merrily lists the seven “sinful” pillars of Njdeh’s ideology: fatherland, blood-race, language, martyrs, ancestors, the strong always win, and the importance of the leader. If these are sins, then the United Nations must be dismantled.
Elsewhere Cutler writes about the “deleterious influence of the extremist [Armenian] diaspora, particularly in the United States.” Per his modus operandi, Cutler doesn’t back his throwaway charge.
We have seen better arguments than that of Cutler’s in a bowl of alphabet soup. His effusions are so lame they seem to be in need of wheelchair. Cutler should do some soul searching: maybe he will find one. He reminds one of the ridiculous character Odius Erronius in an ancient Roman play.
Take one black widow, cross it with a scorpion and wean their poisonous offspring on a mixture of prussic acid and treacle. The outcome would be the anti-Armenian sting of pseudo-journalist Cutler and fellow-travelers such as Matthew Bryza, Nurit Greenger, Irina Tsukerman, Jason Katz, Rachel Avraham, the late Arye Gut and Alexander Murinson, Jacob Kamaras, Israel Baruk, Samuel Rahmani, Maxime Gauin, Justin Amler, Marcia Bronstein, Diana Cohen Altman, and Brenda Schaeffer.
Over the years, individual Armenians have replied to the above mendacious propaganda peddlers through articles and “letter to the editor”. It’s high time Armenians set up a permanent committee which would monitor the upchucks of the above charlatans and shoot down their facile untruths.
Zionist writers have no regard for the negative consequences of what they write about Armenians today, just as their predecessors supported the fascist Young Turks in the early 20th century.