The world did not learn its lesson after the Nuremberg Trials exposed in detail how ethnic cleansing could happen. Genocide has been perpetrated many times since then, and now, the Armenians might once again be targeted for one.
“Risk for ethnic cleansing facing Armenian Christians is being highlighted at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague this week,” we read in the December 5 issue of the Independent Catholic News.
The rise of the threat of genocide against the Armenians living in Karabakh is the outcome of overwhelming political forces active in the area, as well as the conflicting interests of regional and global powers. A simplistic view is that Russia is being bogged down in its war against Ukraine, and thus is failing to control its turf in the South Caucus. Yet, there is more to that interpretation; the antagonism between Iran and Israel is placing Washington in a dichotomy in its relations with the regional nations.
A case in point is Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s repeated calls to Azerbaijan’s dictator Ilham Aliyev, asking for restraint against Armenia, while on the other hand the State Department through its spokesman Ned Price offers assurances that the US will help Azerbaijan, should a conflict ignite between Tehran and Baku. Iran is the only country in the region that has steadfastly spoken out to defend Armenia’s borders.
President Aliyev is well aware of the complexity of the situation and has been shaping his policies accordingly. It is also obvious that Azerbaijan has been taking calculated steps based on input from domestic and international think tanks, of course, with some coaching from Ankara.
Armenian Premier Nikol Pashinyan has raised the alarm regarding the possibility of genocide against the people of Karabakh when he met in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose public answer could only be described as cynical. Indeed, his response was that trade between Armenia and Russia has skyrocketed during the current year, and he tried to put words in Pashinyan’s mouth, asking the rhetorical question “Don’t you agree we held a successful session of the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization] recently in Yerevan?”