Azeri Oil and Warmongering

It’s not as though “President” Ilham Aliyev, safely ensconced in Baku, needs an excuse to use his army’s soldiers as murderers, taking the lives of young Armenians guarding the borders (or more realistically, the battlefront, euphemistically called “line of contact” in official parlance) of the Republics of Armenia and Artzakh.

But, there’s something else afoot on the world stage, other than COVID-19, that may prompt even more despicable behavior by Azerbaijan than usual.

You may be aware that there’s an oil war on. This time it’s not George W. Bush’s America invading Iraq. It’s Russia versus Saudi Arabia/OPEC. The price of oil had been dropping, and OPEC made an arrangement among its members to reduce production to prop up the price. Russia usually goes along with those arrangements its seems, but this time chose not to. What could be the reason? Why would a country with an economy so reliant on natural resource extraction undercut the value of its own product? The argument, it seems, is that Russia seeks a larger share of the market.

But a more interesting interpretation of Russia’s behavior contends that its goal is to cause serious harm to the shale oil industry in the U.S, a serious competitor. Producing oil from shale costs more than the traditional way of drilling a well and letting the underground pressure force oil up, or, when that gets too low, re-pressurizing it by injecting water or pumping it. It seems the breakeven price for oil shale is $60 per barrel. As of this writing, the market price was below $32.

If this “war on shale oil” angle is correct, it seems to me the Russians are trying to win in the short term, but may well end up losing in the long term. If indeed the U.S. shale oil industry is harmed, impacting production, then an even greater incentive will be created to more rapidly develop newer, and cleaner, energy sources – primarily solar and wind. This would propel the U.S. even faster towards freedom from oil, a primitive and heavily climate damaging source of energy whose time has passed. In the long run, Russia would have sped up the demise of the need for oil, hence its customer base.

With this limited exploration of the reasons for the current drop in oil prices, let’s return to the main topic, Azerbaijan. As we all know, this dictatorship survives on its oil and natural gas production. After all, Aliyev and his cronies are “entitled” to “appropriate” their “share” of the country’s wealth before having any of it benefit the general population. With less money coming in (the price per barrel is now around 60-percent of what it has been for the last three to four years), there’s less available to tamp down people’s dissatisfaction with the regime. All this means Aliyev & Co. need to distract their citizenry from their woes. They must mis- and re-direct any anger away from the real roots of the problem, the thieving ruling class of Azerbaijan.

The “natural” solution from the perspective of the purveyors of Armenian-hate in Baku is… to kill some Armenians. As a practical matter, this means ratcheting up tensions on the front to elicit an Armenian response and be able to say “hey, look at what those bad old Armenians are doing to us…” We just read about the killing of an Armenian soldier on the western front, with Nakhichevan, not along Artsakh’s borders. That alone is a bigger deal than the frequent killings that occur along the latter. Depending on how long the need for distraction goes on and how great it becomes, we might even see the instigation of another mini-war by Azerbaijan as occurred in April 2016. It’s worth noting that oil prices had dipped quite low around that time, too.

Perhaps it’s time we started focusing our elected representatives’ attention on this potential problem so we avoid needless loss of life. Maybe, just maybe, European and American pressure, combined with Russia’s “need” for perpetual tension, but not instability or war, between Armenia/Artsakh and Azerbaijan might succeed in prevention… Get busy with your phones and computers.

Failing this preemptive peacemaking, it will be time to give Azerbaijan a major drubbing (meaning loss of more of the originally Armenian lands still under its control) as a reminder of what happened in the early 1990s.


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.

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  1. The “leaders” of Armenia up until this point since “independence” have committed treason against the Armenian nation and its future viability as a sovereign nation, acting as the lapdogs of foreign interests, mostly Russia. That goes for every single one of them, so Armenia’s past Presidents are also “presidents” same as the dictator of Baku. So my conclusion here is, when you visit Armenia, you are not visiting a free and sovereign Armenian nation, but an outpost of Russia veiled as a “free former Soviet State”. The military leaders of Armenia are also all the lapdogs of Russia. What Russia says is what they do, that’s why Armenians themselves cannot make any decisions to react to Azeri aggression and take care of the problem. Russia’s policy against innocent Armenian young men defending their homeland and families: “Just sit there like a duck and get shot at and killed, and keep your mouth shut”. Some “ally”.

    And Azeris shooting at Nakhichevan and killing Armenian soldiers is basically a declaration of war, unrelated to the Artsakh issue. What did Armenia’s leaders do about it? Nothing as usual. As I have always said, the reason is, 1. Direct orders from ‘mother’ Russia to get shot at and keep your mouth shut. 2. Extreme incompetence at running a nation from Armenia’s so-called “leaders”. And where is that so-called CSTO “alliance” when one nation gets attacked the other nations step in? Oh wait that is designed for the protection of Russia itself, not the satellite servant nations around it, which is also a reason why Armenia funds the Russian base in Gyumri instead of the other way around. Compare this to the USA which gives massive amount of money and aid to any nation it has bases in to protect its interests. Russia sitting in Armenia for free through its extortion methods is like the tyrant rich bully stealing from the poor. And the excuse? “Armenia must be protected from Turkey!” Sure, all of that is by design. It was none other than Russia which helped Turkey conquer large lands from Armenia and turn Armenia into a pitiful land locked nation. And now the Appartachik propagandists want us free Armenians of the diaspora to believe that Russia is a “savior” nation for Armenia. If that was even remotely true, the first order of business would have been for Russia to let Armenia you know, actually defend itself. Armenia isn’t even “allowed” to do that, what a sick joke. Help enemies of Armenia steal its lands through the continuation of genocide, help establish a second Turk nation against Armenia, cut up what’s actually left of Armenia and gift them to the two states, next supply Russian weapons to Armenia “at discounted prices” (BIG FKN DEAL) so it could have some kind of “defense” against the two surrounded enemies of Armenia which Russia itself helped create. That is a summary of Russia’s legacy against Armenia.

    And to help things along, the lapdogs of Russia in control of Armenia: sign “defense” deals with Russia to ensure they sit there for free for half a century, next give Russia complete control of Armenia’s energy infrastructure so that if need be, Russia can halt all the gas and “freeze those uncooperative Armenians” in case they start thinking independently like Russia is not actually Armenia’s “friend” like it purports to be.

    Now I acknowledge that without Russia, Armenia has no one to turn to, but I will say over and over again, that is only true after the fact and it is by design, not charity or friendship or alliance. So long as the new generation of Armenians understand this, they may go on to actually start solving Armenia’s geopolitical problems in the future when the Apparatchik Dinosaur Class of Armenia starts disappearing. I expect nothing from them other that to continue their policies of why they exist in the first place: to serve Russian and not Armenian interests.

    • Zatir Lao, I completely agree with you and I wouldn’t trust Russia at all. Turks have a reputation of cheating at this war game. “The Turks are broken beyond repair, this last turn of affairs proved too much for the French and Italians. They insisted that the Greek advance be restrained, and enjoyed the supreme council to order that the Greek army stop in its tracks, French, British and Italian forces rode out to confront the Greeks, halting them at a position far more precarious, than the one they had abandoned to rush to the ally’s rescue in July. At the eleventh hour Kemal and his recruits were thus saved from destruction” Book: Smyrna 1922 the Destruction of a city by Majourie Housepian Dobkin
      You see, the Turks are not good fighters and “brave soldiers” after all. They only advance when they have the help of the superpowers, funny that, considering they accuse Greece and Armenia of acting like war hawks only when we are backed by the world powers. Your Russian friends sent gold and weapons to Ataturk, the genocidal maniac who is on par with Hitler.
      In Cyprus, the Un ordered a ceasefire which meant for days greeks weren’t allowed to fight whilst Turkish Forces advanced unopposed. They don’t win in war fair and square, they cheat and need to be rescued when it gets too hot for them. Armenia and Greece are better off without the two faced British, Russians, French. Our civilisations were around before the people on those modern countries even knew what fire was, and our nations will be around after. Armenians, don’t listen to the Russians, tell them to shut up, and either make good on its alliance with the Armenians, or F off and stay neutral. But don’t go telling Armenians when and when not to fight, just because the Turks are too white and too cowardly for real war. Forgive me for this rant, after all it could be my last, the Americans may not be too keen on me exposing the truth about turkey and for shedding light on the cowards they really are, the Former Roman Province of Brittania, the Former Roman state of Gaul, the Former Nazi protectorate of Italy and the artificially created state called Turkey with its artificial identity “Turkishness” aren’t too keen on me either, somehow, I don’t see me being online too much longer.

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