Khojaly: Letter to J Straus – Speaker , House of Representatives – Texas, USA

Dear Sir

I felt that I needed to express my concern about the Resolution (HR565 March 7 2013) passed by the House of Representatives in Texas with respect to the events that took place in Khojaly in 1992 during the Nagorno-Karabakh war. I was very surprised to discover that the House had chosen to make a public statement in support of Azerbaijan on an event that is enshrouded in much controversy.

 Unfortunately by virtue of this resolution, the State of Texas, has unwittingly become complicit in a propaganda campaign that contributes to the prolongation of the “frozen conflict” of the Nagorno-Karabakh war, and only serves to reinforce the anti-Armenian rhetoric that the Azerbaijani Government promotes.  You may not be aware, also, that on 2nd January 2014 that the Azeri Government has stated that it will redouble its efforts to “prove” that the Armenian Genocide of 1915 was a “myth” – further evidence of the on-going Azerbaijani negative propaganda campaign against the Armenian nation; the propaganda around the events at Khojaly are an element of that overall offensive.

I invite you to read my article which presents the situation  in more detail. I would just draw your attention to the fact that this article is based on Azerbaijani texts,  texts authored by people who are Azerbaijani sympathisers, and neutral agencies. No references have been made to any Armenian sources.

 For your convenience I have copied my article summary below. You will see that there are some very serious questions to be answered about Azerbaijan’s role in this event and it is convenient  for them to lay the blame at the door of the Karabakhi Armenian forces, and ignore some very dubious actions on their part which led a large number of the citizens of Khojaly into a battlefield situation.

[ I draw you attention to para 3 of your resolution which implies an understanding that the supposed massacre was in the town of Khojaly – this is a major misconception, and even conflicts with the primary video evidence from Azerbaijan]

 I am a UK citizen, I have no Armenian lineage, and have visited Nagorno-Karabakh on 9 occasions in the last 3 years. My interest in this  is simply humanitarian

I respect that the actions taken by the State of Texas will have been in the best interests of the people of Texas  however, the only losers will be the innocent people of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. I urge you , please, to review your policy with respect to the recognition of the events in Khojaly.

 If I can be of any assistance in discussing this further with you then please let me know.

 Yours sincerely

 Russell Pollard

Summary of Article
There are many questions to be asked, and comments to be made, about how the world has been seduced into the “victim propaganda” of Azerbaijan.
1. If Azerbaijan was concerned about the welfare of the citizens of Khojaly , why did they stop helicopter flights to/from Khojaly on Feb 13th when they could have helped to release more people? Why did they not assist during the night of the 25th/26th Feb? Why did the Head of Security (OMON) think they had been “utterly sold out”? Were the citizens of Khojaly being used as a “human shield” to deter the Armenians from seizing Khojaly ( contrary to the provisions of the Geneva Convention)?
2. Why did a significant proportion of the population venture through the forests and into the mountains to go to Nakhijevanik even though this was still well inside the Armenian controlled zone and was a treacherous and dangerous route? Who in the Azerbaijani authorities gave false information suggesting that this was now under Azerbaijani control? Were the citizens used as decoys to distract the Armenians pending an Azerbaijani attack on the village ( finally taken in June 1992)? Were they just used as pawns given that they were largely refugees from Armenia and Central Asia, and not from Azerbaijan, proper? Being embedded within a group of Azerbaijani OMON/military who were making a surprise move on Armenian positions in Nakhijevanik was inevitably going to result in fatalities – why was this done? The first responsibility of the Azerbaijani military was for the safe transit of these people to Aghdam; taking them into a war situation near Nakhijevanik,  was like signing their “death warrant”.
3. Despite the precision and consistency over the number of people alleged to have been killed – “613”. Why is it that the official Azerbaijani texts, and “sympathisers” cannot agree on any of the other facts about that night – particularly, where the people were killed? It is astounding that, even though there is no dispute that the Musafayev video was not filmed in Khojaly, but in “No-Man’s Land” between Nakhijevanik and Shelli, that the orthodox belief is that all of the killings took place in the city itself?
[Answer : The theory that everyone was killed in Khojaly puts all the blame on the Armenians and is convenient. Knowing that people were deliberately taken in the wrong direction, and died as a result, would be most embarrassing for the Azerbaijani Government ]
4. There is no evidence to support any notion of a “Genocide” by the Armenians – no evidence of “intent” to “destroy a large part of a group”. People will have died – this was a war. If it was the intent of the Armenians to destroy the Khojalians why did the vast majority (90%+) make it to Aghdam?
Many Armenian civilians died in the continual bombing from Shushi, Aghdam and Khojaly of Stepanakert and the surrounding villages, including the massacre in Maragha in April 1992 – are these all Genocides as well? How have so many foreign governments/organisations not carried out any basic “due diligence” before signing up to recognizing this so-called “Genocide”?
5. There is clear evidence that the current propaganda of “613″ is most likely to have been overstated. The evidence also implies that the vast majority found their way to safety through the “corridor”.
The facts of the 26th February 1992 are very complex and we are unlikely, ever,  to discover the absolute truth. It is clear that the citizens of Khojaly died in different ways in a variety of  locations for many reasons and through the actions of all involved. The concerted effort by the Azerbaijani Government to contort the truth and lay the blame, solely at the door of the Armenians is a cynical misrepresentation of the facts and the act of securing “political sympathy” from unsuspecting governments is one of gross deception. This is only made more obscene by the way that this has been achieved on the back of the unnecessary deaths of innocent people resulting from the questionable conduct and incompetence of the Azerbaijani authorities in 1992!
I only hope that people now examine the facts and make an informed independent judgment on this issue and stop being fooled by the guile of the Azerbaijani Government

Categories: Khojaly, Letters

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