This is it, it’s over, it’s the end. The Nagorno-Karabakh authorities have signed the decree dissolving the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Artsakh will cease to exist in regards to international law, and will exist only in our memories.
Artsakh will become that imaginary land, which we will tell our children and grandchildren about, just as our grandparents told us about their memories of Van, Erzerum, Bitlis or Kars. Artsakh will become that land of which Armenians says “we’ll go back to one day”, “it belongs to us”. But we won’t. Artsakh no longer belongs to us. Artsakh no longer exists.
That’s the reality, we have to face it and accept it. So who to blame? Because inevitably, our first reflex is to say it’s the fault of the Americans, the Europeans, the Russians or the Armenian government! Indeed, they all have their share of responsibility.
The Americans, who only have words of support. The Americans, who two days before the assault said they would not tolerate an attack on Nagorno-Karabakh. The Americans who come to us with their sweet words of compassion. The Americans who hope we’ll make peace with those who hate us, so they can unite us in a war against Iran, the eternal axis of evil in their eyes. The Americans, who have their word of support, but who also sells weapons to Azerbaijan. The Americans, who are only interested in their own geopolitical and personal interests, and nothing else, as so many times before.
The Europeans, fooled by the hope of peace on their border. The Europeans who let themselves be fooled by Azerbaijan’s persuasive words and their promise of raw materials as an alternative to Russian ones, while everyone knows that Russian gas is just being brockered by Azerbaijan and reaching Europe, and all that mattered here was the political framing. The Europeans, who, in response to the many appeals from the Armenian people concerning the blockade of Artsakh, still only had words, not very strong ones, to avoid cooling relations with their new energy partner. The European, whose “monitoring mission” didn’t help in anything, and simply became a group of European tourists.
The Russians, whose peacekeeping forces have totally failed in their mission. The Russians, who were far too impartial and did nothing to help the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh as they should have. The Russians, who can be considered complicit with Azerbaijan, as Russia easily accepted Aliyev’s apology when Azeri forces killed 6 Russian peacekeepers. The Russians, who seemed to show a kind of support for peace, only to side with Azerbaijan in the end.
Pashinyan, who, for the sake of so-called peace, decided to let Azerbaijan resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh question in its own way. Pashinyan, who placed responsibility on Russian peacekeepers, while daring to challenge Russia on many issues. Pashinyan, who placed far too much hope in peace with Azerbaijan, who repeatedly express their hatred for our people, our ethnicity. Pashinyan, who placed far too much hope in the United States and the collective West and let himself be fooled by their promises. Pashinyan, who constantly plays with Russia’s fire, even though after the war they (along with Iran) were the only guarantors of Armenia’s survival. Pashinyan, who seemed far more concerned with his own political survival than with the survival of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh. Pashinyan, whose words assuring the safety of Armenian civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh were used to counter the argument of his own foreign minister (Mirzoyan) at the UN Security Council. Pashinyan, who claimed to speak for all of Armenia in recognizing Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan and by that giving a green light for the ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh.
But another entity must be held responsible: we, the Armenians. Whether in the diaspora or in Armenia. For thirty years, we relaxed, we let go. Then war broke out again 3 years ago. In the 3 years since, the Armenian people have re-elected the person who sent 5,000 young people to their deaths in the face of Turkish drones, Israeli weapons and NATO weapons. Armenians in the diaspora organized expensive charity galas, continued their parties saying “Akhteluenk” (we’re going to win), while the neighboring threat grew.
Armenians in the diaspora who haven’t succeeded to convince the governments of their own countries to cease all cooperation with Azerbaijan, while the latter put many resources in this matter. Armenians in the diaspora who claim to be apolitical. Armenians in the diaspora waiting for the world, Europe and the United States to come to their rescue. We are also responsible to the refugees from Artsakh, for the 5,000 young adults who gave their lives and are now buried in Yerablur, and whose mothers come to mourn them. We are responsible.
We can’t afford to be apolitical. Every country is ruled by politics. Armenia’s destiny is ruled by politics. If the people want to change politics and change things, they take an interest and they vote. Other countries listen to the government, not the people. If the people don’t like the government, they change it to put someone they like in power.
Europe and the United States have not helped, and will not help, for fear of upsetting Turkey. This is the reality of the situation. The Armenian people are on their own. The demonstrations of recent days have shown that there is a great divide between the current government and the people. We must distinguish between the people and the government. The people must take their destiny into their own hands and understand that only they can change things, in their name and according to their will.
When Samantha Power came to see the Armenian refugees, one person said: “Sanction Azerbaijan or go back to your country. You don’t care, stop lying”. This must be our moto, the mentality of the Armenian people towards any big country with regional interests : really help us and not for your regional interest, or leave us alone.
Armenia is at a critical juncture in its history. In the words of Monte Melkonyan, hero of the First Artsakh war: “the day we lose Artsakh, we will have turned the last page in the history of the Armenian people.
Help us by denouncing the guilty parties and sanctionning them. Don’t use us as a spearhead or a pawn.
The thoughts expressed in the material are the author’s and may not coincide with the editorial approach in certain parts.