We Bow Before Our Martyrs (Ed note: Defending Armenia)

AN EDITORIAL ISSUED IN CROSSROADS, THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE PRELACY OF THE ARMENIAN APOSTOLIC CHURCH (NY, NY)  Armenia marked the 31st anniversary of its independence on September 21, yet this is not a moment to celebrate. In the short yet eventful life of the third republic, this is one of the darkest moments, with the drums of war beating ever more loudly around the region.    An island of democracy and civilization, Armenia is flanked by its opposites. Its freedoms at home are matched by oppression in Turkey and Azerbaijan. To its love of life, the enemy nations respond with the cult of death.    It should be a feast, but it is not. That our neighbors to the east and west are criminals in war and in peace is not our fault. That they torture and dismember a captured female soldier with bestial savagery that no living creature, let alone a fellow human being, should suffer, is beyond words and goes on to show what Turkey and Azerbaijan are: genocidal nations.    Yet we have had the time, and the experience—tragically—to know them for what they are. It is our failure that we have not dealt with them in their own currency and have pursued an agenda that may have been well intentioned, but tragically inconsistent with the geopolitical reality of Armenia. And we know full well what kind of road good intentions have sometimes paved. Turkey and its apprentice in genocide are criminal nations with whom it is absolutely impossible to be partners of anything. To ignore this approach it is perilously short-sighted, as the 44-day war demonstrated so tragically in 2020. But that a positively failed agenda should continue to be pursued is negligence and incompetence of the highest order. And the reason why it is impossible to negotiate with these countries is very simple: the Armenian Genocide was foundational for both. Azerbaijan was created hurriedly in 1918 by the ironically called Committee of Union and Progress—the very same one that conceived and executed the Genocide—as a foothold for its pan-Turkic plans, which were put on hold until the right time came. The perpetration of the Genocide opened the road for the creation of the present-day Republic of Turkey. Two nations founded on the ethnic cleansing and annihilation of the native population cannot but be criminal entities, which will spawn criminal rulers such as the current presidents of both countries.    And the time for their pan-Turkic project has come now. Turkey and its partner in crime are trying to solve once and for all the Armenian question with the final solution. This is not a rhetorical statement. We have to iron ourselves for what may be excruciatingly painful days ahead, in which we may relive the darkest chapters of our history.    We may only hope that this date will bring enlightenment to those in Armenia who tried a path that led us down to these horrific days, including the 5,000 victims of 2020 and the more than 200 soldiers fallen in the latest attack by Azerbaijan against the sovereign territory of Armenia. His Holiness Catholicos Aram I has repeatedly urged for a collective solution at this critical junction for our homeland. Our 1915 wounds have not healed yet and we have piled enough suffering on the shoulders of our people for another four generations with short-sighted policies.    In the certainty that we are alone and have no other allies except for ourselves and our unbreakable faith, we shall stand strong in the face of adversity. We shall only bow in infinite gratitude and respect before the martyrs and their mothers, fathers, children, siblings. We owe it to them that our homeland exists. In this time of great sorrow for all of us, we find consolation that the blood of the martyrs will forge our will and give birth to a heroic posterity to stand up for our five-thousand-year-old homeland.   

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