David Boyajian sends this update to his earlier reports on the ongoing conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The Case for Affirming the Independence of the Armenian Republic of Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabagh
by David Boyajian
In recent years, many territories’ declarations of independence have been justifiably affirmed through international agreements. The Republic of Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabagh’s declaration of independence from Azerbaijan three decades ago is as legitimate as any of those. Artsakh is the republic’s ancient Armenian name.
Artsakh and Christian Armenia have been under attack by Azerbaijan, Turkey, jihadist terrorists, and ISIS since September 27. Turkey is using its army, American-built F-16 jets, drones, and other weapons against Armenians. Azerbaijan’s arsenal comes mostly from Israel, including illegal cluster bombs being targeted against civilians. Israel is currently resupplying Azerbaijan.
Artsakh, like Armenia, is thousands of years old. In contrast, no country named Azerbaijan existed before 1918. It was cobbled together out of a diverse population of what were called Muslims or Tartars, as well as Armenians, Persians, Russians, and others. No such identity as ‘Azeri’ had ever existed.
We’ll show that Artsakh justifiably and legitimately voted for self-determination as it separated from Azerbaijan, its previous temporary but brutish overlord.
The Stalinist Giveaway
Turkey and Azerbaijan speak Turkic dialects. Therefore, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin fantasized (incorrectly, as it turned out) that Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) and his incipient Turkish Republic could be lured into the USSR’s web. So in the early 1920s, Stalin transferred Artsakh — then 96% Armenian — and the Armenian territory of Nakhichevan to Azerbaijan. Stalin’s blunder is the root cause of the present impasse over Artsakh.
Shortly before the transfer, Azerbaijan massacred Armenians in Artsakh, Baku (Azerbaijan), and elsewhere. These crimes were part of the Armenian Genocide that Turkey had already been committing from 1915 on.
Stalin also transferred Armenian land to Azerbaijan such that Artsakh became geographically cut off from Armenia. Many majority Armenian areas were also excluded from Artsakh. The latter became a nominally “autonomous” region within Soviet Azerbaijan but, in reality, under the latter’s heavy jackboot.
Artsakh voted for self-determination in accordance with Soviet law in 1988 and international law in 1991. Self-determination and territorial integrity have equal standing under international law. In response, Azerbaijan massacred Armenians in its own cities of Baku, Kirovabad/Ganja, and Sumgait. A war ensued which the outnumbered and outgunned Armenians won in 1994.
Artsakh’s long nightmare through seven decades of Azerbaijani rule was due not to Communism but rather to raw Azeri ethno-racial fanaticism.
Artsakh’s Long Nightmare
Under Azeri rule, Artsakh’s Armenians dropped from 95% to 76% of the population — the product of deportations, exile, murder, theft, oppression, and Azerbaijan’s calculating importation of Azeris to replace the Armenian majority.
The KGB’s Heydar Aliyev — father of current Azeri dictator Ilham Aliyev — admitted to exiling Artsakh’s Armenians and bringing in Azeris. Reported Russia’s REGNUM news agency: “I tried to increase the number of Azeris and to reduce the number of Armenians.”
Armenian historical figures’ titles were crudely Islamized to “Pasha” or “Bey.” The fifth-century Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi became Muhammed al-Khojayi.
References to Armenian history in textbooks were excised. Even the written word Artsakh was banned.