Dr. Arshavir Gundjian

Deploy UN International Peacekeeping Forces on Armenian Borders to Stop Further Catastrophe

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By Dr. Arshavir Gundjian C.M.

Special to the Mirror-Spectator

As literally hell has broken out in the Armenian homeland, today’s government, all opposition parties, as well as any and all organized groups in Armenia, and in the diaspora, must have one major objective that overrides all the many other important humanitarian, economic or political emergencies. That objective is, as the popular wisdom says, “to save the presently remaining furniture,” meaning to save, at the very least, what Armenian possessions still remain, at this moment.

The writing has been on the wall for a long while, certainly since the end of 2020’s disastrous 44-day war, that not only Artsakh but certainly also the present-day Republic of Armenia are targeted to be taken over by Azerbaijan, acting with the obvious full collaboration of Turkey. Furthermore, whatever the reasons, it had become increasingly evident that the so-called Russian peacekeepers’ protection had become quite impotent.

One did not have to be an expert to observe the fact that apart from Artsakh, the belligerent Azerbajani President Ilham Aliyev has been regularly using the “Western Azerbaijan” qualifier, when referring to the territories of the current Republic of Armenia, including Yerevan, Sevan and Dilijan.

Incredibly, on every such occasion, hardly any voices of indignation, official protest and condemnation, have been heard from the Armenian government or from any other international bodies. Azerbaijani weather reporting agencies are said to refer even to the weather in Armenia, as the “weather in Western Azerbaijan.”

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Has official Armenia been taking the use of such cynical, shocking and dangerous language as a distasteful joke?

If that is the case, then they are better advised to seriously shake themselves and wake up.

Indeed, Azerbaijanis and Turks have not been joking. They do mean what they say, and more.

Have we not learned from Armenia’s history lessons, that to wipe out Armenia from the map has been their centuries-old project, as the core part of the Turkic Pan-Turanic grandiose scheme of expansion from Europe all the way to the heart of Asia, in one uninterrupted vast empire?

So far, they were prevented from achieving that dream, only because of the Soviet-era Russian obstacle which suddenly is now absent!

It is unquestionable that the entire Armenian world needs now to consolidate all its means and forces, by putting aside all internal differences, in order to save whatever territories of Armenia that still remain in our hands.

We probably have only a limited time available to engage feverishly in that effort of consolidation of all our forces. As I already stated in my latest writings, today, any lack of maturity and failure of any Armenian party, be it the current authorities, opposition groups, political parties or diaspora groups, to comply with a spirit of, national emergency-motivated unity, would be considered outright treason towards the supreme interests of the Armenian nation.

We must recognize, and just register for now, that Armenians, both in Armenia and Artsakh, have actually failed to build their national security tools during the entire length of the past three decades, whereas they should have actually consolidated their efforts to secure their own military and diplomatic security devices. This had to be accomplished as a priority, independently and aside from any additional so-called external foreign help from whomever that may have been. Indeed, they were expected to know that the latter is volatile and can be ephemerous, while the former is the only one that a nation can depend on!

Immediately following the collapse of the Soviet structure, Armenia’s highest priority should have been not only to carefully maintain its defense industry but also to continue to build on it to secure a world class army, equipped with regularly updated state-of-the-art sophisticated weapons. Armenia had the infrastructure and the intellectual manpower to succeed in that path. Actually, we all, especially in the diaspora, were led to believe that such was indeed the quality and caliber of the Armenian defense system. We were fooled, and even worse, through its irresponsible behavior Armenia had created all the elements of the current Armenian catastrophe.

The other big failure concerns specifically the Artsakh diplomatic front. Artsakh has indeed had two solid legal and internationally recognized tools to support its right to independence, which it neglected to use all the way since way back in 1994, following the Armenian victory against Azerbaijan.

Indeed, just as the Soviet regime was crumbling, it is a well-established fact that Artsakh has lawfully held (according to the laws that prevailed at that time) the successful referendum of December 10, 1991, to establish its right to declare its independence and its right to manage its own destiny.

The repeated Azerbaijani atrocities against its own citizens of Armenian origin, starting from the massacres of Sumgait all the way to the relentless Azerbaijani acts of violence and open rhetoric encouraging its population to perpetrate atrocities towards Armenians that continues to this day in the Azerbaijani media, are the uncontestable elements for the Kosovo-like demand of Artsakh for separation from Azerbaijan for survival.

Both Armenia’s and Artsakh’s Armenian authorities have effectively allowed, sheepishly, the above two internationally accepted solid arguments for independence to fade away in time.

Such failure has reached its lowest point when PM Nikol Pashinyan has instead, recently started to repeat that Armenia recognizes the integrity of Azerbaijan, including Artsakh within its borders.

As incredible as all the above cited Armenian failures may be, and as serious as may be the responsibility and hence the guilt of all those who have caused such failures, it is evident that at the current stage of our national crisis for survival, we cannot allow ourselves the luxury of spending any effort to pursue these issues now. In that respect, however, all is not lost. We simply need to take now very serious note of the above points to make sure that they become fundamental components of an Armenian long-term national strategy which must soon be worked on, once we cross today’s state of super-emergency.

Having reminded ourselves of all the above as a background, we now need to put all efforts of our nation together, to achieve the immediate objective which as I said in the beginning of this article, is needed to save what Armenian is still left at this moment, without suffering further losses.

Mr. Pashinyan, fellow leaders of political and other movements in Armenia and Artsakh, as well as heads of our Diaspora major organizations, we need NOW to bring all our means together to help Armenia request from the United Nations Security Council the only IMMEDIATE concrete remedy which will prevent the execution of the obvious Azeri-Turkish plan of the complete physical elimination of Armenia from the map:

Armenia must demand the immediate deployment of a credibly strong international peacekeeping force along the borders of Armenia, and what is left of the remaining Armenian populated Artsakh, with Azerbaijan and Turkey.

To partially save sensitivities, those forces may be qualified as “additions or acting in association” with the Russian forces that currently are stationed along those borders.

This demand must be formulated at the UN, immediately, forcefully, formally, and repeatedly by the government of Armenia in Yerevan in association with the government of Artsakh in Stepanakaert

Simultaneously, our Armenian Church leadership, led by the Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II from Echmiadzin, in  association with Catholicos of the Sea of Cicilia Aram I, in Beirut, with the collaboration of Armenia’s embassies around the world, all major Armenian organizations’ heads must be brought together without lengthy time consuming formalities, in order to inundate heads and legislators of all nations, where Armenian important communities reside, starting of course with those of the USA and France, to request of them, as citizens of such countries, to give their support, and secure their participation to such a UN Peacekeeping Force in the Caucasus.

Dear fellow Armenians, as I am writing the last lines of this article, I presume you are all aware of the very recent unveiled threats that I hear, are being voiced openly just now, by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Aliyev, demanding unheard of farther concessions from Armenia.

Let’s not doubt for a moment, that such verbal threats will soon be translated into “military actions.”

Only an international force can dissuade such vultures from continuing the permanent dismemberment of Armenia.

Dear fellow Armenians, let us show that we can meet honorably this major challenge of our times.

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