Editorial, Featured


On September 2, 1991, the Republic of Arstakh proclaimed its independence. In doing so, it followed the letter and the spirit of the law. At the time, in official nomenclature it was still the Autonomous Region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The Soviet Union was on its last legs. In December of that year, it dissolved itself. A whole edifice built on tyranny collapsed like a house of cards.

Now that Artsakh turns 32, it is legitimate to wonder whether there was a point in following the law. The answer is simple. Yes. Had geopolitics evolved differently, it would have served as one more source of legitimacy for its existence as a sovereign state, with full rights to reunite with the mother homeland, Armenia.

But more importantly, the Armenian people of Artsakh and the homeland did not content themselves with proclamations. They backed up their demands with action. They were ready to pay the price of freedom, always steep for Armenians given the genocidal cousins that flank us, Turks and Azerbaijanis. Violence not only is justified in their eyes. It is essential. Come think of it: that’s how they came into existence, by conquering other people’s lands, massacring them, and pillaging them, as Zabel Yessayan had attested in her work “In the Ruins” more than 110 years ago after the massacre of Adana. Nothing speaks better of the spirit (or lack thereof) that drives them than the desecration and destruction of churches and their conversion into mosques. That, in a nutshell, is the history of Turks and their little cousins, the Azerbaijanis.

Faced with enemies like this and Artsakh is being starved to death, it would be tempting to believe that the only way out is to give in to realism. What can 120,000 people do against dictatorial regimes? You have to give it to the Azerbaijanis: when it comes to murdering, they are ingenuous. They have found the way to carry out a bloodless genocide against Armenians. Very original.

Yet is it true that the only way forward is conceding defeat? That’s not how the wheels of history turn. Were it so, surely the outcome of the Battle of Sardarabad would have been different. Or we should have ceased to exist in 1915. Yes, we are faced with extermination not only in Artsakh but also in Armenia, because that’s what the Turkic cousins do. Yet to their chagrin we are still around, in Armenia, in Artsakh, and the entire world. Give to Artsakh. Give to Armenia. Lend a hand to your sisters and brothers in need. Fight. Go to our lands and make it your home. Fight again. The Turks and their little cousins will not defeat us.