Last Thursday US Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden met separately with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian while the South Caucasus adversaries attended a 50-nation nuclear summit in Washington boycotted by Russian President Vladimir Putin. But no sooner did Kerry pronounce “an ultimate resolution” to the ongoing Azeri-Armenian dispute over the autonomous Nagorno-Karabakh (NG) enclave, while Aliyev was flying home the next day his Azerbaijani military was launching a major overnight offensive into the contested region marking the bloodiest fighting since Russia’s brokered truce that ended a three-year war back in 1994.
The US Empire has consistently refused to recognize the democratic rights of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, the vast majority 95% being Armenian who voted overwhelmingly to declare its independence from Azerbaijan in 1991 during the waning months of the Soviet Empire while both Azerbaijan and Armenia were still outer Soviet states. This fateful decision resulted in a bloody conflict where up to 30,000 Azeris and 6,000 Armenians lost their lives in the ensuing war fiercely fought over the region’s self-declared autonomy. Azeri residents in Nagorno-Karabakh fled to outlying Azerbaijan districts that geographically surround the disputed region with estimated totals of nearly three-quarters of a million displaced Azeris and up to a half million displaced Armenians. By war’s end, the Armenian military prevailed, protecting the sovereignty of their people who had been living on that same turf of land for centuries. The autonomous enclave vigorously defended by Armenian troops during the war has since the 1994 treaty been a de facto governed independent region despite its non-contiguous location separate from the Republic of Armenia while enveloped by angry Azeri citizens vowing revenge insisting that Armenians have stolen near one fifth of their country.
Azerbaijan’s latest violent escalation was gleefully egged on by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu:
The whole world should know that Turkey will stand shoulder to shoulder with Azerbaijan against these Armenian attacks until the end of the world. Our 78 million-strong population will continue to stand on Azerbaijan’s side until all of its lands under occupation have been liberated.
To understand today’s dynamics, a brief account of a longer history of the region is necessary. The first twentieth-century genocide was grinding to a bloody halt as the Ottoman Turks during World War I from April 24, 1915, to 1917 slaughtered and massacred a million and a half Armenian people inhabiting mostly in eastern Turkey. That’s one-third of the total Armenian population wiped off the face of the earth in a matter of three years! Three-quarters of a million Armenians died of starvation or dehydration along the brutally forced deportation march en route to the Syrian Desert and onto Aleppo, many shots or cut down by Turkish soldiers’ bayonets while others threw themselves into the bloodied red Euphrates River to die volitionally by drowning.
A large diaspora of Armenian people whose ancestors declared the first Christian state in 301 AD (two decades ahead of the founding of the Roman Empire) were forced to escape for their lives from their ancient homeland dating back to Noah and his ark of which remnants are believed still partially preserved in ice on nearby Mount Ararat. Near a decade ago an expedition claimed they found the ark at the 13,000 foot level of the mountain. Encyclopedia Britannica cites traditional Armenian roots can be traced to Noah’s great-grandsons Togarmah and Ashkenaz. Over eight million Armenians spread throughout the region and beyond to 85 nations around the world today while less than 3 million live in the small Eurasian country in the South Caucasus sharing a border with Turkey to its west, Georgia to its north, Azerbaijan to its east and Iran to its south. Small landlocked Armenia is the only Christian nation throughout the Middle East (though Georgia to the north is predominantly Christian as well) surrounded by mostly unfriendly, hostile Muslim neighbors (particularly to the east and west).
Read the Remainder at LEW Rockwell
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