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Commentary: Pouring Oil on Troubled Waters - 2001

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Pouring Oil on Troubled Waters

Commentary by C.K. Garabed

Published in the Armenian Weekly

May 5, 2001


The title to this article is a double-entendre (double meaning). It refers, of course, to the practice of a third party mollifying two contentious factions. There may even be some scientific basis for calming agitated waters by covering them with liquid of greater density and viscosity.


The other meaning to the title is the role that the United States is trying to fulfill in bringing peace to the Caucasus; that is, solving the dispute between the Armenians and the Azeris over Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh). State Department pronouncements would have us believe that the resolution of political tensions is the sole motive for the US’s interest in the dispute, but anyone with an ounce of brains can see that it’s about oil, stupid!


Colin Powell very likely got his marching orders from Bush, the oil baron, to find a way to get oil from Azerbaijan to Turkey as cheaply as possible and without going through Armenia. So what’s the prize that they are after? Very simply, a slice of Armenia that will give the Azeris direct access to Nakhichevan (“Nakhichevan” is Armenan for “first resting place.”)


And what are the Azeris prepared to offer in return for this slice of Armenian territory? Again, simply and very likely, the lifting of the blockade against Armenia and Artsakh. Meanwhile, what happens to the status of Artsakh? Nobody seems to know. What we do know is that the Azeris have shown no intention of giving up their claim to it, and the US’s track record has been to twist the arms of Armenia and Artsakh to satisfy Azerbaijan and Turkey.


If ever there were a time of great distress and peril to Armenians the world over, it is right now. And if there were a time for concerted individual action, it is right now. Everyone who considers himself Armenian should be incensed, even outraged at the prospect of the rape of Armenia.


This kind of language is called for at this time, and demands should be made to the U.S. President, U.S. Senators, and U.S. Congressmen, without exception, to stop this vile proceeding. All elected officials should be reminded that their reelection may hinge on the outcome of current negotiations and the position they take on the issue.


Now is the time for true unity – unity of purpose! What are you waiting for?