In 2016, my wife and I visited Hadrut, a beautiful town in Artsakh where every house has a rose garden, where Armenian churches have stood for at least 1,000 years, and where two sisters invited us into their home, fed us breakfast, and inscribed a book of their father’s poetry for us.
In the past week, international investigators have confirmed that invading Azerbaijanis have executed at least six Armenians in Hadrut. One victim was a disabled man in his own home, holding up his hands to shout, “Don’t shoot!” One victim was exactly my age. One was exactly my grandmother’s age. Videos shared widely on Azerbaijani social media show how these two were tied up, beaten and murdered by a hail of bullets.
In less than three weeks, at least 700 Armenians have died defending against this invasion, under indiscriminate cluster-bombing of residential neighborhoods and targeted strikes on churches, hospitals, and schools. Armenian losses are already higher, as a proportion of population, than the American death toll in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refers to Armenians as “remnants of the sword” and declares that Turkey and Azerbaijan are “fulfilling the mission of their grandfathers” against the Armenians. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev boasts that he is chasing the Armenians out of their homes “like dogs.”
The way to stop this unfolding genocide is heartbreakingly simple. It would not require any military intervention. All it would take is halting military aid to the aggressor countries, demonstrating that their behavior will not be tolerated. But even this simple step seems to be too much for our leaders.
And what truly breaks every Armenian’s heart is that simply speaking up seems to be too much for the vast majority of our non-Armenian friends. We are begging you to help. Please show your support in any way you can. Even if we personally mean nothing to you, please take a small stand for humanity.
The situation is hopeless if no non-Armenians help. But together, people of conscience can move mountains.