Why the US Should Support Armenians in Artsakh, How to Cut Aid to Azerbaijan and Turkey, and Enforce the Patriot Act

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By Aris Govjian

America needs allies around the world if it is going to remain a global economic and geopolitical leader. An opportunity is available to the United States of America to both gain a global ally in the Armenian Diaspora and to raise its own prestige and influence. For months, Armenians have been under attack by Azerbaijan and Turkey. Their goal has been to commit another genocide against the Armenians and wipe out the first nation on earth to accept Christianity. While a peace agreement has been signed, it seems to be temporary and fragile as the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey tell their population that their fight and struggle with Armenian is not over. They are torturing and beheading captured Armenian civilians and prisoners of war. America can do the right thing, and it does not require a single soldier to go to war.

Stop Giving Away Money and Weapons

Hundreds of millions if not billions of tax-payer dollars in military grants and aid were sent to Turkey and Azerbaijan, and they decided to use it to destroy schools, hospitals, and cities where innocent people live. They used it to murder a civilian population friendly to the United States. The simple act of stopping military aid to Turkey and Azerbaijan will save the US billions and save countless lives. Azerbaijan and its allies have already committed war crimes and began using it for propaganda to incite more violence. The time has come to stop wasting money on blood thirsty regimes.

Recognize the Independence of Artsakh

A clear statement officially recognizing Artsakh as an independent country will raise the reputation of the United States and make it a leader among nations. Armenians are being targeted because of their unique culture, Christian faith, and the fact they are native to the land that Turkey and Azerbaijan want. Armenians have a country, and a part of it known as Artsakh was separated by Stalin during the time of the Soviet Union. On September 2, 1991, the people of Artsakh declared their independence from the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, most of the world does not recognize it as an independent country, even though it has its own operating government serving and protecting their people.

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Growing US Influence and Power

The massive and politically active Armenian Diaspora, which stretches across the world, will notice who helps the Armenians. The Armenian diaspora is organized and committed to ensuring peace for their people, the communities they live in and their way of life. If the US demonstrated that it stood for peace and recognized the sovereign country of Artsakh and stopped handing out money to Turkey and Azerbaijan, then this diaspora would be more eager to support America abroad.

Just by wasting less money and making an official statement recognizing an independent country, the US can drastically improve its standing internationally. The amount of leverage and influence our country would turn the tide in falling behind other emerging powers.

A New Strategy to Cut Military Aid to Turkey and Azerbaijan

We Americans need to pursue every possible way to stop the massive amounts of weapons and military aid that our government provides to Azerbaijan and Turkey. Thankfully, there is a mechanism in American law to put politicians, lobbyists, bureaucrats, and corporate agents on notice and potentially reclaim funds sent to violent dictatorships such as Turkey and Azerbaijan. This means any past, present, and future military aid will fall under the scrutiny of the law and those who uphold it.

The U.S. code for crimes and criminal procedure specifically prevents arming and furnishing weapons to be used against friendly nations and peoples. Given Turkey and Azerbaijan’s violation of this rule by attacking Armenian populations and continued genocidal rhetoric from their governments, there will be consequences for people and organizations who pursued and currently pursuing sending military weapons, support, arming vessels such as planes, ships, drone, missiles, and related resources to these regimes.

The penalty listed in U.S. Code Title 18. § 962 clearly states the guilty perpetrators will be fined and or imprisoned for up to three years.

Section 962 provides incentives for lawyers and organizations to pursue these cases. The value of military aid and supplies can effectively be reclaimed. Half the recovered funds from these cases will go to the informer, and the other fifty percent will go to the Federal government. This is a high commission to reward people for stopping waste and abuse.

Intent to harm friendly nations and people are proven beyond doubt regarding Turkey and Azerbaijan. In 2014, on July 27, Azerbaijan government began shelling Armenian civilians and killed people in their own homes. Then on April 1, 2016 the Azeri military murdered elderly Armenians in their own home and launched a relaunched a brief four-day war. During this brief war, the President of Turkey voiced his full support for Azerbaijan.

In July 2020, during a global pandemic, Azerbaijan again attacked Armenians, targeting civilians within the Republic of Armenian in the region of Tavush. Today, Azerbaijan and the Turkish military is ethnically cleansing Armenians and committing documented war crimes which they use as glorified propaganda. The Turkish President has also effectively stated that they will finish the genocide their ancestors started. They have used many kinds of vessels to transport jihadists and military equipment into the region to target innocent people.

Azerbaijan’s unwillingness to adhere to ceasefire, refusal to placing gunfire locator technology, disseminating violent propaganda to their own population, and constant attacks on Armenians prove their intent. Even after signing a new peace agreement, they continue to glorify genocidal perpetrators and tell their population that the conflict with Armenia is not over as they torture Armenian Prisoners of War.

Every lawyer specializing in qui tam cases, government waste, corruption, and international law can benefit by pursuing cases regarding military assistance to the Republics of Turkey and Azerbaijan. There is a strong case against Turkey and Azerbaijan for their premeditated attacks on Armenians. A lot of money can be recovered. Military aid to Turkey alone amounts to over a billion dollars annually, and over a hundred million to Azerbaijan in 2019. A fifty percent reward can create a financial dynasty for anyone who pursues it.

This type of law may be present in other countries as well. Recovering military aid provided to Azerbaijan and Turkey should be pursued by all Armenian organizations specializing in law and government affairs.

Enforcing the Patriot Act Against Turkey and Azerbaijan

Turkey and Azerbaijan are directly hiring and transporting known terrorist groups to attack ethnic and religious minorities in the Middle East and South Caucasus. The governments of Turkey and Azerbaijan are both committing money laundering by illicitly financing militant groups from Syria and Libya. The United States must conduct anti-terrorism operations to ensure no funding and resources go to these terrorist groups. Under the US Patriot Act, the Federal government has the authority and the duty to pursue all money laundering and financial activity that fuel terrorist organizations and their individual or state sponsors.

Furthermore, the government of Azerbaijan and its leadership extensively use elaborate money laundering schemes to bribe politicians, bureaucrats, news media, journalists and finance international terrorism. They do this by setting up shell companies abroad to act as a slush funds for operations.

Being complicit in money laundering that violates the US Patriot Act will result in asset forfeiture. Given that the governments themselves and their officials are financing terrorism, all assets of the Turkish and Azerbaijani government which are in American financial institutions must be claimed by the United States Federal government.

(Aris Govjian is a Los Angeles-based writer and businessperson. He has been a lifelong supporter of various Armenian charities and causes. Aris enjoys writing on Armenian topics, fiction, and historical and philosophical nonfiction. To learn more about Aris and his writing, visit www.arisgovjian.com.)

 

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