Like most everyone who reads this, I am feeling very sad and helpless.
Armenians around the world knew it was likely this day would come, when our enemy would begin a military offensive to take Artsakh. We knew this was more likely than a favorable outcome for the Armenians. We have felt this way since the blockade of the Berdzor (Lachin) Corridor started over nine months ago. We have felt this way since Aliyev began referring to the Republic of Armenia as Western Azerbaijan.
We knew, but felt helpless to do anything about it. The government of the Republic of Armenia seemed unable to do anything either. The Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan recognized Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan earlier this year. Many in Armenia and the diaspora were appalled by this announcement and accused him of caving in, but no one offered any viable alternatives.
Sadly, an alternative based on self-determination required the Armenians in Armenia or Artsakh to have a military capable of providing a military defense. The days of grabbing a rifle or pitchfork and heroically defending the homeland are well behind us. The only other option was to wait for another country to step in and make Azerbaijan and Turkey agree to terms favorable to the Armenians. Who would do this? Russia, the U.S., France or India?
Countries rarely act on altruism. Look at the news. Our story is buried on page six, if anywhere. It is not the lead story. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressing the U.N. is a top story. The U.S. giving $24 billion in aid to Ukraine is a top story. We are an afterthought or no thought at all. The U.S. still gives aid to Azerbaijan. Yet the U.S. State Department made a statement:
The United States is deeply concerned by Azerbaijan’s military actions in Nagorno-Karabakh and calls on Azerbaijan to cease these actions immediately. These actions are worsening an already dire humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and undermine prospects for peace.
Nice words. I can’t imagine they will have any more impact on the outcome in Artsakh than the words I am typing here.
What is the best we hope for now? Will the U.S. and France provide evacuation and resettlement aid for the people of Artsakh? A guarantee of the sovereignty and borders of the Republic of Armenia? Who can possibly make and back-up such a guarantee? Does Armenia become a vassal state of…you tell me?
I am not a diplomat, in the leadership of any government or political party, or an expert in international affairs.
What do I know? I know that Artsakh is Armenian. We all know that to the core of our beings.
What do I know? I know that Artsakh is Armenian. We all know that to the core of our beings. Yet we seem to be the only people in the world to believe that. Borders were drawn a century ago, and everyone but us believes that land is now part of Azerbaijan. We cannot do anything to change that or what is happening in Artsakh.
Armenians are in a very precarious position. What is the future of our homeland, our self-determination? I am not sure we even have a paper ladle these days.