Yegparian: Are They Trying to Tell Us Something?

For years and years, since the 1994 Artsakh-Azerbaijan ceasefire, the Azeris have been violating that very same ceasefire.

These violations come in the form of sniper fire, attacks, the downing of a helicopter, commando-style attempted infiltration and murder, heavy weapons fire, kidnappings of border-dwelling Armenian civilians, and even some military activity on the frontier with the Republic of Armenia—sometimes from the Nakhichevan side at that!

Billions of dollars in military purchases from all over the world are flowing into Azerbaijan, and all are aimed at the twin Armenian republics.

The president of Azerbaijan is forever making bellicose pronouncements against Armenians.

Millions of oil dollars are spent on Baku’s “caviar diplomacy” (also known as polite, [quasi]legal bribery) in Europe, the U.S., and the rest of the world to distort history and reality while propping up an increasingly fragile petro-autocracy and its anti-Armenian crusade. Remember, Azerbaijan has parliamentary elections scheduled for Nov. 1 (coincidentally, Turkey’s snap elections recently called by the wannabe-Sultan fall on the same date!). Naturally, President Aliyev wants credit for a large Armenian body count to help his party once again “win” by a landslide.

On top of all this we have been treated to the grotesquery of an Armenian-killing axe-murderer deceptively transferred to Azerbaijan to serve out his sentence and instead given a hero’s welcome and showered with benefits.

The response from the rest of the world is nothing but mealy-mouthed words of “caution” and “wisdom” advising BOTH sides not to escalate tensions lest all-out war break out! Invariably Armenians are treated as if they are equally responsible for the ceasefire violations as the Azeris, who actually INTIATE the flare-ups along the “Line of Contact”— a euphemism for “battlefront”!

Since we know these diplomats and great powers are FAR from stupid or blind, what then explains their equating Azeri actions and Armenian responses?

It could be that oil and defense purchases are keeping these supposedly neutral states quiet.

It could be that Turkey is being humored, as has often happened with things like genocide resolutions and laws.

It could be they just plain don’t care, but feel compelled to give lip service to the notion of peace.

It could be that they’re telling us to just accept being abused, disrespected, and killed (shades of pre-genocide Ottoman conditions for Armenians).

Maybe it’s time they were shown the foolishness of their ways. Especially now, with Turkey embattled with its three-pronged (internal, Iraq, and Syria) Kurdish offensive initiated for internal, partisan (formerly parliamentary majority AK Party) gain, perhaps a serious Armenian offensive, even in the direction of Nakhichevan, might be sobering enough to refocus all parties’ attention on reality.

Of course, this should be preceded by a very terse ultimatum that the very next Azeri ceasefire violation will result in a disproportionate response. Heck, the Kurds might particularly appreciate a Nakhichevan offensive since it would reduce the threat to them from the “rear” (i.e., east of Turkey’s borders). Maybe we could get some elected officials around the world to make statements to the effect that a harsh attack by Stepanakert, Yerevan, or both is what’s required to restore peace. Maybe this is the route the world is telling us to follow.

On the other hand, since there is definitely an electoral component to this, maybe just waiting until after Nov. 1 is all that’s needed to return to a relatively more quiet situation on the front. This is certainly a more peaceful route, and would likely cost fewer lives.

What do you think? Wait or loudly advocate a strong response? What’s the best way to effectively call Ankara’s, Baku’s, and the rest of the world’s bluff?

Garen Yegparian

Garen Yegparian

Asbarez Columnist
Garen Yegparian is a fat, bald guy who has too much to say and do for his own good. So, you know he loves mouthing off weekly about anything he damn well pleases to write about that he can remotely tie in to things Armenian. He's got a checkered past: principal of an Armenian school, project manager on a housing development, ANC-WR Executive Director, AYF Field worker (again on the left coast), Operations Director for a telecom startup, and a City of LA employee most recently (in three different departments so far). Plus, he's got delusions of breaking into electoral politics, meanwhile participating in other aspects of it and making sure to stay in trouble. His is a weekly column that appears originally in Asbarez, but has been republished to the Armenian Weekly for many years.
Garen Yegparian

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  1. The problem is Armenians are too passive, this is why we always got the bad end of the stick.Since the Kurds are better fighters then Armenians ,I think its time to help them. And if the Azeris are looking for a war then lets have it before all Armenian youth leave the country and the poor villages get bombarded. We bragg about having a good army ,then what are we afraid of. All foreign countries are looking after their own interests ,lets look at our own interests.

  2. It’s easy for you and I sitting at our desks in front of our computers asking for our kin in Armenia to attack and create a war situation. They are the best judge of what should be done and interference from us is not only unwelcome but dangerous.

  3. Maybe advocate a loud response. If it will help bring a settlement and stop the Azeris from shelling. Maybe that’s the only thing they understand. They and the turks have not shown any talent for listening to reason throughout history

  4. I think the lack of Armenian proportionate or even an overwhelming response sends the wrong message to the enemy regardless of the enemy politics surrounding the escalation of hostilities on the front line. The more the enemy attacks with impunity the more emboldened it becomes and therefore the more it will try to do the same and with much more fire power.

    Even though these attacks may be temporary to secure upcoming election victory for Aliyev’s kleptocracy, the lack of Armenian response can also be wrongly perceived by the enemy as lack of will on the part of the Armenians to fight back thus leading to even further escalation of hostilities.

    Furthermore, given the fact that the enemy defense minister replacement in-charge is fairly new and inexperienced at his post and is still trying to prove himself by such bold moves, he will try to take credit for his actions by exploiting the presumed Armenian passiveness and further give legitimacy to his boss Aliyev who not only put him in charge but is also commanding these escalations to secure victory at the upcoming elections in the first place. The men behind these attacks must have their noses bloodied instead of being given verbal threats that may or may not materialize.

    Assuming the November elections are the reason why the enemy is conducting these attacks, then it would make more sense to respond fire with overwhelming fire to cause major losses and casualties on the enemy to bring both the draft-dodging Aliyev and his amateur defense minister back down to reality in the least if not also possibly help cause defeat for Aliyev’s party in the process for his incompetence when election time arrives even though I have no doubt the election results have already been decided in favor of the Aliyev dynasty.

  5. Armenian leadership is very passive as usual. A severe response is warranted and that should be in any direction, even as far as controlling the beloved pipeline and then the west will flood to your door asking mercy….this is how internationalpolicy works..not by sitting as a duck and waiting for things to happen.
    It is in fact a very good time to hit the azeris when turkey is busy.

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