After the collapse of first three ceasefires, brokered by the co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), very few people had any confidence that the fourth one, agreed on in Geneva, would hold.

All the ceasefires have proved to be misfires, because Azerbaijan broke the agreements the very same day they were signed.

Bombings continued and even intensified, using internationally banned incendiary phosphate bombs over forests and civilian populations.

In retrospect, when we review the terms and conditions of earlier ceasefires, mostly in 1994 and 2016, we find that they proved to be effective, because of Russia’s influence over the two warring parties.

This time around, President Ilham Aliyev does not give a damn about Russian influence, because Russia has lost Azerbaijan to Turkey. Even Aliyev himself has lost his country to Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan who calls the shots.

People are dying in Karabakh and jihadist terrorists have been wreaking havoc with their mission and commission of beheading Armenians ($100 per head) yet we hear only lip service from the world community, which was up in arms when Al-Baghdadi proclaimed his caliphate using the same Islamic terrorists.

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Those Islamic terrorists have become permanent features in all of Erdogan’s wars, trained in the occupied territories of Syria, and exported to a battleground of Turkey’s choosing; they were used in Syria and then moved to Libya and currently they are in Azerbaijan confronting the Karabakh army, which has captured two after slaughtering hundreds of them in the battle.

During the interrogations, the captured jihadists have revealed incriminating facts about their recruitment, training by the Turkish army, their numbers and their plans. Both Turkey and Azerbaijan had been vehemently denying the existence of those jihadists fighting alongside their troops.

The Syrian jihadists have joined the Azerbaijani army for a compensation of around $2,000 a month, plus as indicated above, a $100 bonus for each “infidel” head.

Lately, news outlets have reported that Pakistan, a hotbed of terrorism, has found jihadists from Afghanistan whose life seems to be cheaper than the Syrian jihadists. Indeed, it is believed that Pakistan has been recruiting those terrorists from Afghanistan, who have agreed to fight in the Karabakh front for the lower price of $800 a month.

Erdogan’s friends and foes can plainly see that he is engaged in a global business of creating and exporting terrorists as part of his global war machine, and yet, they look the other way.

Erdogan is a more sophisticated version of Osama Bin Laden. Indeed, the US policy planners used to admire cheerfully Bin Laden when the latter was an ally, shooting down Soviet MiG fighter planes over Afghanistan with shoulder-held Stinger rockets, until they had a rude awakening when he blew up the World Trade Center.

Erdogan is on that very same path. He has been financing the construction of 100 mosques around the world, both in Islamic countries and in the West. In addition, thousands of madrasas (religious schools) are being built around the world to promote the fundamentalist version of Islam. One may consider propagating one’s religious faith an innocent endeavor, but Erdogan himself and his AK party have been weaponizing religion and using it for their political ends.

Two years ago, Erdogan threatened Germany with political turmoil through manipulating the three million Turkish immigrants there. The same threat has been directed at Russia, whose 25 million Muslim citizens are considered a time bomb by Erdogan. His recent altercations with French President Emmanuel Macron and Austria’s Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz are well known.

Already, a taste of what may come is being demonstrated by the beheading of a French teacher in Paris, the killing of a Greek priest in Lyon, the knifing and killing of three at a Catholic church in Nice, and terrorist acts in Germany and Austria.

And yet, Turkey’s NATO allies stand in cheerful admiration of Erdogan, who has moved to the Caucasus to foment trouble for Russia.

The day of reckoning won’t be far; Erdogan has had fallouts with every country in the Eastern Mediterranean. If the Western countries do not wake up today for Armenians who are fighting an existential war, they will wake up tomorrow to feel the blows falling on their own skins.

Ahmet Davutoglu, Erdogan’s erstwhile soul mate, who had served as his prime minister, was the architect of Turkey’s foreign policy of “zero problems with neighbors.” He parted ways with Erdogan and founded his own party, Gelecek (Future). Speaking at his party forum, Davutoglu made a scathing attack on his former boss, accusing him of flirting with disaster. He has accused Erdogan of plundering the country’s economy by building his war machine. In addition, he stated that the Sultan has antagonized so many countries that sooner or later they will gang up against Turkey and tear it apart.

At this time, Erdogan is in the Caucasus to tempt Russia into an entanglement, which may be temporarily in line with NATO plans, but not for long. And at the same time, Armenia is suffering as Turkey conducts war in Karabakh using Azerbaijan’s army and the jihadists who have been appearing in other countries in the Caucasus and in Russia.

Had it been left to Aliyev, he would have settled for peace soon after the start of the war after suffering tremendous losses. Indeed, it is believed that a good portion of Azerbaijan’s military hardware, amassed over the years, at the cost of billions of petrodollars, have been destroyed in the war. But Aliyev’s persistence in continuing despite the damage carries the hallmark of Erdogan’s arrogance.

Erdogan has been brutally open in declaring that Armenia is a hindrance for its path towards achieving its imperial plans. Therefore, he has set his sights beyond Karabakh. Most of the ferocious battles are being waged on Karabakh’s territory, trying to move closer to the southern tip of Armenia, the Meghri region, which separates mainland Azerbaijan from the Nakhichevan exclave.

The conduct of the war, threatening Armenia’s territory, has triggered the stipulations of the Treaty of Friendship Cooperation and Mutual Defense of 1997, signed between Armenia and Russia.

Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has alerted Russia’s President Vladimir Putin of the impending danger of war on the very territory of Armenia.

Despite his reluctance and neutral position on the conflict, Putin has responded that Russia will honor the terms of the treaty. Also, consultations have ensued as to the nature and volume of assistance.

After forcing Russia into a stalemate in Syria and Libya, Turkey has been challenging that country into a confrontation closer to home, in the Caucasus. Erdogan’s government has suggested repeatedly that Turkey is in charge of the war operation. Russia has been trying to provide peacekeeping forces, which Turkey would like to match in numbers. Recently, White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, speaking at a community outreach forum in Los Angeles, indicated that discussions are underway to bring peacekeepers from Scandinavian countries. He has also bluntly ruled out Turkey’s participation in peacekeeping. So far, so good.

But the US is capable of doing more. President Trump had mentioned the Kosovo model, which thus far has been considered a unique precedent that cannot be repeated.

Hugo Dante, writing in the National Interest, under the title “US Sanctions Could Deescalate Tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” says: “The United States has the tools to de-escalate but Azerbaijan and Turkey are testing the effectiveness of influence campaigns and strategic entanglement in coaxing the United States to overlook mass civilian displacement and potential massacres.”

He adds, “The United States is uniquely positioned to de-escalate tensions and enforce peace. Given that Turkish weapons and influence are driving violence, Washington has the ability to cut aid, weapons sales, and impose sanctions as a check to Ankara’s war drum.”

But the US administration is in a campaign for its life and the massacres of Karabakh Armenians are not a priority at this time.

Ilham Aliyev, who has three times ignored initiatives of the OSCE co-chairs, should be held accountable for breaking the ceasefires.

Erdogan, who is chasing his Turanic dreams, has to be stopped in his tracks. The creation of an Ottoman Empire requires the subjugation of other nations in this era of globalization. When 25 million Kurdish people are engaged in a war of liberation to break away from Turkey’s embrace, which nation, in its right mind, would tolerate the rule of a bloodthirsty Sultan?

Today, Turkey is on Armenia’s borders to finish its genocide launched 105 years ago. Since the beginning of the war, this column has been underlining the importance of using the genocide issue as a moral wall against Turkish aggression.

Turkey and Erdogan are vulnerable on that score and that is why they have allocated tremendous resources to the denial of the Armenian Genocide globally.

At last, Armenia’s president and prime minster have begun to effectively capitalize on the issue in their public pronouncements. Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan continues that theme in his diplomatic jargon.

Israel and the Jews have long capitalized on the issue. Zev Chafetz, writing in, articulated the issue best: “The greater similarity, is, of course, the fact that Jews and Armenians were both victims of 20th-century genocide. But instead of bringing them together, the mutual experience has become a point of contention. … Israel knows the power of victimization and has made the Holocaust centerpiece of its diplomacy since 1948. The benefits are obvious. It has won Israel financial reparations from Germany and other European perpetrators, given Israel freedom of action denied to other small countries and has been a moral trump card against Holocaust deniers like Iran and the Palestinians.”

As the war has been proving these days, Armenians do not have many friends. They may as well put to good use the rightful moral capital they possess.


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