In 1988 when Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) said “No!” to the “relationship” with the Azerbaijan SSR there were no discussions, no understanding – just aggression, violence and war. Perpetrators of domestic violence do not like to be told “No”.
When the violence stopped, Azerbaijan tried to manipulate world opinion, and coerce the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to be part of it. “Life will be ok, don’t worry, you can have your autonomy but just be part of Azerbaijan”.
But NK was never part of a post-Soviet Azerbaijan.
At the same time, Azerbaijan is abusing the Armenians in NK, criticising it’s people, it’s achievements and its development, blaming everyone else for its own shortcomings, being “offended” as outsiders become friends with the people of NK; killing its soldiers. Azerbaijan tries to control the movement of people in and out of NK, threatening to shoot down aircraft, “blacklisting” visitors, attempting to block trade…it tries to isolate NK.
There is the constant threat of violence until “reconciliation”….and then…?
At an individual level , a victim of domestic violence will be given refuge and protection from the perpetrator. We know not to blame the victim, the perpetrator is the criminal.
The most disturbing aspect of this metaphor with NK, is that the international community are not “recognising” the wish of NK to be separate, to be independent, to be given refuge as the “victim of violence”…they are encouraging talks, “see if you can work it out, get back together, make a compromise, don’t cause a problem”.
Like the classic perpetrator, they seek to beguile others “see how we suffered in Khojaly, see how our refugees are living in poverty” . On the world stage they are “Dr Jekyll”, the great benefactor, funders of projects, the promoters of games and contests, and back home they are “Mr Hyde” who locks up journalists, abuses human rights, and shows institutional hate at presidential level for the Armenians.
Slowly but surely, they hope to re-take NK, and the international community are in danger of being complicit in that. If that happens, and the Armenians are trapped by Azerbaijan, the aggression will begin again, and like the victims of domestic violence, it will be worse than last time, it will be brutal, and unrelenting – but of course, it will be done to “protect the Armenians”.
Recognition is the way that we / the international community can provide “refuge” and safety for the 150,000 Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh Republic for the long-term….to cut the cycle of violence, and end the manipulation by Azerbaijan – as the perpetrator of the aggression.
RECOGNISE THE NAGORNO-KARABAKH REPUBLIC, NOW!