April 07, 2016

Armenia and Azerbaijan: The war you aren’t hearing about — and why you should care

William HadrianRebel Blogger

Situated in the mountains of the Caucasus lies one of the oldest Christian outposts on the fringes of Europe, an internationally unrecognized Armenian enclave known as Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenians have been living in the region of Karabakh as far back as the stone age. Armenia is the world’s oldest Christian nation, having converted in 301 AD (that’s 26 years before Emperor Constantine was baptised), and is home to some of the world’s oldest and most extravagant Christian churches.

Yet all is not well for present day Armenia and Karabakh.

To its south is the Islamic Republic of Iran, to its west is the Republic of Turkey (the successor state of the Ottoman Empire that slaughtered 1.5 million Armenians in the name of Islam in the last century), and to its east is the Republic of Azerbaijan, an oil rich Caspian dictatorship ruled by Ilham Aliyev.   

Though Karabakh had been occupied by Armenians since time immemorial, in the last century, while Armenia was under the occupation of the Soviet Union, dictator Joseph Stalin had parceled off Karabakh and incorporated it into the Soviet State of Azerbaijan in order to satisfy neighbouring Turkey, with whom he was at risk of going to war.

For 65 years, Armenians lived peacefully alongside in Azerbaijan, until in the late 1980s when the dissolution of the Soviet Union became imminent. Armenians, who having a long and negative history of living under Turkish rule, did not wish to live in a Azerbaijani state, werethe Soviet Union was to collapse and grant these countries independence. It opted to reverse the changes made by Joseph Stalin, and in 1988 the Armenians in Karabakh voted unanimously to secede from Azerbaijan, with the hopes of joining neighbouring Armenia.

(To put it in a Canadian context: imagine if French Canadians had lived under a brutal regime ruled by people who in the last century had systematically slaughtered their ancestors. Now imagine that Quebec was separating from the rest of Canada, and then a little pocket of French Canadian Ontarians living beside Quebec voted unanimously to separate and join Quebec.)

This situation resulted in Azerbaijan clamping down more harshly on Armenians in Karabakh, and in 1990 in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku,  a pogrom began against Armenians. In 1991, with the collapse of the U.S.S.R, a war ensued in which the outnumbered and poorly armed Armenians nevertheless achieved their independence. In 1994, a ceasefire between the two sides was signed.

For the past 22 years, although this frozen conflict had at times heated up, this ceasefire had remained in tact- until now.

On April 2nd, starting at roughly 3am local time, Azerbaijan began strategic offenses against Karabakh. This full on assault included the use of tanks, drones, helicopters, and the shelling of innocent civilians. Though this conflict has remained virtually unnoticed by the western media, given Karabakh's strategic location, this conflict has the potential to spiral out of control and include much larger regional players, such as Turkey, Iran, and even Russia.

Many in the international community, including the Canadian government and the opposition have called for a ceasefire. However, recent hostilities have been raised to such a degree that it is now less likely that a diplomatic solution will resolve this conflict.

It is worth mentioning that Azerbaijan is no friend to democracy.

It commits deplorable human rights abuses daily, censors and harasses journalists who are critical of its government, and jails its political opposition. As is the case with Saudi Arabia, much of the international community turns a blind eye towards these abuses on account of Azerbaijan's vast oil reserves.

Now, to many in Canada who are wondering about why they should care about this conflict, please keep this in mind:

In the past several years Christians have virtually gone extinct in the Middle East. Priests are being beheaded daily, Christian women in Syria and Iraq are being raped and sold into slavery. Churches, from the time of Christianity’s early founding are being turned to rubble to the point where it is a common occurrence.

Azerbaijan, a Muslim country, if successful, will not simply expel this region's native and Christian population, it will slaughter them en masse, as they already appear to be doing.

Like ISIS, they will burn down century-old Christian churches, in order to deny Armenians’ historical presence there.

If Azerbaijan is successful, it will be just another circumstance, to which we have sadly become accustomed, whereby we will see the Crescent Moon and Star fly triumphantly over another forgotten and neglected Christian people of the East.   

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commented 2016-04-11 15:52:38 -0400
Armenia being victimized by a Islamic state. That’s new (sarc).
commented 2016-04-08 18:47:47 -0400
This represents a great opportunity for JUSTIN to prove himself -- Instead of Grand Standing about things that are in the Past. This is the NOW - Justin—- So lets just see what YOU do. You get to dictate the Future.
commented 2016-04-08 16:23:44 -0400
Crusader Girl – I recall that the most pain that I have ever experienced, so far, is labour pains. I didn’t do well with my first baby, but my second one, I was able to focus on my breathing to control the pain. So in the event I am ever in the unfortunate position of being tortured, I am going to focus on what God has promised us, and my breathing. I will also focus on the courage of those Christian girls who are living as rape slaves for ISIS. I will draw on their courage, and use it to help myself and hopefully others.
commented 2016-04-08 16:13:56 -0400
Very true what you have said. Dying isn’t the worst thing to happen to us, however, I don’t want to be tortured to death. True, no greater blessing than to have God on your side. Too bad we don’t have a minute to edit our comments before it actually gets posted.
commented 2016-04-08 16:00:20 -0400
Crusader Girl – Oops, I meant David had God on his side, and it made him fearless. I wish we could correct our comments.
commented 2016-04-08 15:59:16 -0400
Crusader Girl – but Goliath had God on his side, which made David fearless! Faith and courage are what is needed in the face of evil. If someone is intent on killing you, there isn’t much that you can do about it. Just remember what Jesus said, to not worry about those who can kill your body, but worry about God, who can throw both soul and body into hell for eternity!
commented 2016-04-08 15:43:32 -0400
Those are some good suggestions, however, if them lot have guns, it will just be futile. I guess a paintball gun (frozen pellets) will have to do for now. I would add some long nails to that baseball bat though or a crowbar could do more damage. Goliath didn’t have to contend with an Uzi though :).
commented 2016-04-08 15:33:44 -0400
We might not all have guns, but there are many things that can be used as weapons. After all, David slew Goliath with only a sling-shot. And someone on here mentioned sticking a golf ball in a sock, and swinging it until it connects. And carrying a baseball bat in your car is another good weapon. I keep one by my door!
commented 2016-04-08 15:05:11 -0400
Sometimes it makes me wish I was in the U.S. only because of their lax gun laws. Fighting back if the time comes would make it easier in the way of protection. In Canada, most of us will be sitting ducks. Oh, how I wish I had an arsenal of weapons for the day of reckoning.
commented 2016-04-08 10:53:53 -0400
I won’t pretend to know anything about the region but I’m not surprised that they are killing each other especially when islam is included in the mix.
commented 2016-04-07 16:31:28 -0400
One of my co-workers is from Russia. He was recently there and was asking his friends where all the oil was coming in from. He said that truck after truck is rolling into Russia, with ISIS oil. Putin is buying oil from wherever he can get it. And my friend also told me that he and his friends hate Putin, and consider him extremely dangerous.
commented 2016-04-07 15:42:50 -0400
The UN is the body that is behind all that is going on in the world today, these Marxist are in bed with Putin, their main agenda is the destruction of the West.

The Muslims are just being used to confuse and break down our civilizations.

The leaders of our Nations are all involved with this great deception, these traitors include Trudeau, Obama, Merkel and all other EU leaders.

It is time for us to say NO, we have had enough. We voted for democracy not dictatorship.
commented 2016-04-07 15:34:45 -0400

I read your article and respect your opinion, especially given the high emotions and overwhelming historical baggage and chains in this part of the old world. However, I wonder how it passed the editorial board here, being so one sided and propagandist in nature. From the beginning phrases like voted unanimously, oldest Christian outposts, extravagant Christians appeal to and bury the logic under emotions.

Here’s what I know and my commentary on the situation.

Armenia is a sparsely populated mountain area. As you can see from this map Armenians lived in tight-knit ancient communities surrounded by villages of kurds and azeris. Emboldened by Russia and their genocidal ways to the north in Dagestan and Chechnya, the new armenian government in the 90s ethnically cleansed through massacres and deportations armenians, kurds, yezidis, jews, etc from their own country and moved on to deal with the enclaves inside Armenia and exclaves abroad in the same gruesome way. The biggest one was the NK one, impugned in this article. To get to in, the Armenian and Russian armies rolled over and ethnically cleansed the entire Kurdish populated province of Kalbajar-Lachin with warm climate and most arable land. Of course, they cleansed the NK exclave as well, where Armenians were actually a minority. Make no mistake, Armenian administration are definitely no angels. All this is not what Jesus would do.

Now to the current events. Since the collapse of the USSR, Russia hold at least half a million strong standing army of its own in Armenia that was complicit in all of the above. There is an army base and a dedicated airport. Last year, Armenia joined Putin’s version of new USSR, entailing the Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Organization (fusing of the armies). This led to a barrage of protests echoing the successful ones in Ukraine. Given that more than half of the population of Yerevan (the capital) are Russian soldiers, that obviously did not succeed and the country became one giant Russian army base protected by Armenian civilians. What sucks for Azerbaijan is that it is essentially surrounded by Russia (Russian Federation and Armenian puppet state) and an ever closing Russia’s ally, Iran. Azerbaijan and Georgia were seen as an alternative corridor for the central asian gas going to Europe, threatening Russia’s monopoly on Europe. Putin would never let that happen, hence hybrid and direct invasions of both nations. More: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6njHg4TGBfc

Another emotional appeal that is seen frequently is re democracy in Armenia. Democracy Index marks Armenia as an Authoritarian State (same group as Russia or North Korea). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index

In the recent events: Armenia also bombed autonomous republic of Nachkhivan to it’s south starting a proxy war with Turkey. That place has nothing to do with NK and is on the opposite side of the country. http://news.az/articles/karabakh/106361
commented 2016-04-07 14:15:32 -0400
The UN is also the “body” pushing for the Islamization of the West! By allowing TruDope to “buy” back into the UN – we are paying for our own enslavement!
commented 2016-04-07 13:06:50 -0400
It’s time for someone to do something . . . screw the UN, they’re useless except for stealing money and have done nothing to protect the downtrodden.
commented 2016-04-07 12:42:06 -0400
So once again I see MEN that won’t FIGHT for anything. They just turn their backs and leave. What bullshit.
commented 2016-04-07 12:31:06 -0400
My question is how much of Putin’s hand is in this. He would love to control the Azeri oil fields and the entire Western sea board of the Caspian. When there a couple of years ago, the Armenians looked to Russia as an ally, along with Georgia, due to religious commonality.

Prediction: This flare-up is the work of the master manipulator going for one last territory grab in the ‘name of peace’ while Obama is in the Whitehouse.

Putin: Knock Knock
Obama: Who’s there?
Putin: Crimea
Obama: Crimea who?
Putin: Crimea river!
commented 2016-04-07 12:18:24 -0400
trying to suck me into another religious war is madness. we are going to be fighting for our own survival soon enough.