Understanding the Armenian world view when dealing with the Artsakh Conflict

Despite the world having witnessed our recent history, we are still asked by International mediators to be reasonable in our demands (our demands to preserve what is left of our nation)

 it would be really nice if, for once, the international community, the Turks and the Azeris would care to understand the Armenian case: We are a nation of people who’s contribution to the world is quite disproportionate to our size, and yet have constantly been marginalised by larger interests, seen as disposable problems, to the point where our plight has even been refered to as “the armenian QUESTION“, as if we were a problem that the world was trying to effortlessly wash its hands of. For most of our recent history, we have been criticised as a nuisance by larger powers in the grand scheme of World Affairs, because we complained about our lands being taken from us, our people murdered, our sovereignty being violated, or culture compromised time and time again. Yet, we have constantly been asked to compromise on these things which we have held dear by the same powers who asked us to sacrifice for the greater good, to appease our aggressive neighbours, or for future compensation.

Today we live in a Republic that is one tenth the size of the state we were legally promised in 1919, which itself was only two thirds the size of the land we have historically lived in; which didn’t bother Stalin who decided to disect us even further.

Different Armenias

 We do not have the luxury of having a Sprachbund stretching from Blugaria to China like our neighbours do, our closest kin have long since been assimilated into other cultures, there is no where else for us to go. We have nothing left to give, and yet we are still being told by the International community that we are being unreasonable, that we must compromise…This is not an irrational call for romantic nationalism, or irredentism, this is a very real, pragmatic issue for us. IT is an issue that intails the very survival of our nation as a relevant, independent state in the modern world. We collectively share the pain of the Azeris who suffered in the early nineties, but it was a necessary pain, Just as the pain of the Indian-born Britons who left for a land of their ancestors that they had never seen, when India received it’s independence.

It should be noted, however, that despite the fact that the Armenian nation has already lost so much, for the sake of peace, the Armenian negotiators at the Kazan conference offered a compromise that was so humiliating for the Armenian side that some of the points have still not been publicly revieled. This very reasonable proposal was turned down by Aliyev. In other words, no matter what we offer, they will still ask for more.

Should Azeri refugees be alloud to return to their homes? Absolutely. Should we allow Azeris free passage through Armenia/Artsakh, as part of a pledge to allow all of mankind the right ot freedom of movement, and dignity they deserve as fellow human beings? Definately. Should we dream of the day where we could one day trade freely with Azerbaijan and look towards eventual regional economic integration? We are more than willing…Yet, to give up even an inch of land for which we have fought and bled for? NEVER.

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2 thoughts on “Understanding the Armenian world view when dealing with the Artsakh Conflict

  1. An oppressed minority, on principal, should never be expected to be the first to compromise because there is no one to represent and advocate for our (non-shared) interests expect ourselves. The local powers (Azeris, Turks, etc) have not shown a modicum of respect for our history or our present, instead insincerely crying “genocide” as if it gives them some bargaining power (I am not, btw, denying the incidents at Khojaly) and thus, minimizing, making light of, and degrading our oppression. The international powers (many, oppressors themselves), as they cry “human rights” when it suits their economic interests, neglect them when it doesn’t. When the cards are stacked like this against us and our justice, we simply have to remain strong. And above all, never stoop to the level of those we condemn.

    I, personally believe, and many disagree, that giving back the occupied lands is ultimately the right thing to do (say, as part of a future compromise). But this does not depend on our willingness–it depends on Azerbaijan’s pledge to maintain peace and leave Karabakh be. Not only do I acknowledge the pain of Azeri refugees, but I acknowledge the pain of our land (and by “our”, I don’t mean just the Armenian’s, I just mean our…that mountainous land that I think we all feel such kinship with). I truly cannot imagine the Armenians rebuilding, say, Aghdam and settling there, because we have namus, and would not feel at home there I don’t think. It would make me happy if Azeris could return there and re-establish something positive–I would dare them to it, they would have my blessing. But the state needs to acknowledge that Armenians face systematic discrimination (as well as inevitable assimilation) in Azerbaijan (while the Azeris, aside from the occasional incidence of “Turk, Turk”, faced no such systematic discrimination or assimilation in Armenia), and this is why we need to govern ourselves. There’s much more to rant about, but I don’t have the haves now.

    • I don’t totally disagree with your idea. Though I would restrict the land reparations to the area around Agdam, which hasn’t really been an armenian city for centuries anyway, and is indiffensible. I don’t think the Armenian side had any real plans of keeping the city anyway, since they’ve made no effor to enhabitate it, or start any major construction projects in the region.

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