Artsakh Falls to Azeri Aggression

In events leading up to the 1915 Armenian Genocide, most of the world looked the other way. Yes, WWI embroiled many countries fighting for their own survival, yet as the genocide unfolded, the world was slow to react. The result sent a clear message to megalomaniacal dictators wanting more land and power for themselves--take what you want by force--might makes right, and no one will dare step up to protect the weak. Thus, one genocide led to the next, and the dominos continue to fall as nations only seek to protect themselves and their own self-interests. The USA (the shining light on the hill) was supposed to be a beacon of hope for democracy and human rights, yet we also faltered.

Today, as the world witnesses the unlawful acts of expansion by Azeri forces, no one intercedes on behalf of Armenia. A blockade begins and once again, thousands of Armenians are starved and terrorized. Oh, suffering Armenia that only wanted to worship its one true God continues to lose its land as its people are murdered, evicted from their ancestral homes of 3,000 years, and forced to flee for their lives. Where will God's children go? They will go back to those who will open their arms and hearts--those kindred Armenian spirits who, like the Holy Spirit, takes in those in need.

Why is this happening? Why isn't Mother Russia protecting Armenia like it agreed to do in the signed agreement promising Military cooperation between Armenia and Russia. After all, both states are joint members of the same military alliance (CSTO) as well as participants in the Joint CIS Air Defense System. The only possible reason seems to revolve around the fact that Armenia strives to be a true democracy unlike other countries that are merely wolves in sheep's clothing--pretending to embrace democratic values but bowing to dictators who deny human rights.

Armenia broke from Russia when it attacked Ukraine. Armenia refused to vote in support of Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine. Armenia remained true to its goal of self-government and peace. Putin, on the other hand, remains bent on expansion at all costs and will take revenge against those who do not give him their blessing. Therefore, he nodded to Azerbaijan's Aliyev giving him the signal to take Artsakh by force (to punish Armenia)as Putin looked the other way. With Russia's approval, Turkey's military aid, and Israel's deadly drones, the Armenians were overwhelmed. Artsakh's President Arayik Harutyunyan was forced to surrender quickly or watch more than 100,000 Armenian men, women, and children be killed. No one came to help, so he made the only decision left to him to save his people.

With faith, all suffering is redemptive; still, good Lord, please help us in these confused, terrible times in which your Providences has placed us. And…God bess Armenia, its people, and its far-flung descendants!

France continues be Armenia's friend (offering military aid), Germany is sending financial support, yet the USA tries to be friends with both Armenia and Azerbaijan by giving them both military aid (less to Armenia). When will the US learn to stop trying to be allies with those who will eventually betray and deceive? See the article below as it describes thsoe who are trying to help, but their pleas seem to fall on deaf ears. President Biden won the support of all Armenians when he exhibited the courage that no other US president could muster and called out Turkey for committing genocide against the Armenian people. Where is his courage now? Why no sanctions against the Azeris?

Now, I turn your attention to Washington.

Washington, D.C. - During today’s hearing on “The Future of Nagorno-Karabakh,” House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe Chairman Tom Kean (R-NJ) made clear that the use of force by Azerbaijan against Armenia is unacceptable,” reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).

In his opening remarks, Chairman Kean stated that “we cannot afford to look away from the region” and made clear that the “use of force against sovereign Armenian territory, including in the Syunik province, will be completely and totally unacceptable.”

Ranking Member Bill Keating (D-MA) echoed the Chairman’s message, stating that “military action is unacceptable”, and also indicated his support for a “safe and dignified return” of the Armenians of Artsakh.

Testifying before the Subcommittee, Department of State Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Europe and Eurasian Affairs James O’Brien repeatedly highlighted that the Biden Administration has no intention of waiving Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act for the foreseeable future and that such a decision does not negatively impact U.S. national security.

O’Brien highlighted that the Armenians of Artsakh should have complete access and that the Administration is insisting on the protection of their property and cultural assets as well as a “viable opportunity to return.” With respect to transport links (road and rail) in southern Armenia, O’Brien stated that it should not be created through force. When asked by Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) about the use of sanctions against Azerbaijan if “other methods don’t work,” O’Brien committed to the use of sanctions.

The Assembly has repeatedly called for sanctions to hold Azerbaijan accountable for its genocidal policies, and its testimony today stated that “Azerbaijan should not be rewarded for their continued assault against the Armenian people, but rather sanctioned” and highlighted that the “U.S. has many tools at its disposal to do so from the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and economic sanctions to trade restrictions and the enforcement of Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act,” along with the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act.

Representative Dina Titus (D-NV) raised concerns about Turkey’s role in the region, including the use of Turkish F-16s in the 2020 war, while Representative Mike Lawler (R-NY) highlighted the fallacy of the U.S. providing military assistance to Azerbaijan to counter Russian and Iranian influence while Azerbaijan has significant energy ties to Russia and Iran. Assistant Secretary O’Brien acknowledged that the Administration is aware of the situation which it found not in the U.S. interest.

In his remarks, Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC) highlighted his position that “dictators with the rule of gun [should] not prevail over democracies with rule of law.”

Representatives Jim Costa (D-CA) and Brad Schneider (D-IL) expressed concern about Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing of the Armenians of Artsakh and the humanitarian needs arising from it. “It was ethnic cleansing that happened with the removal of these Armenians from their historic homeland in Nagorno-Karabakh... These folks did not want to leave,” stated Rep Costa who also asked about the Administration’s supplemental request and hoped that part of the humanitarian request would include Armenia. Rep. Costa also encouraged congressional visits to Armenia and the assistance of the Administration, to which O’Brien agreed.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.

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