Letter: Misinformation at the New York Times

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Misinformation at the New York Times

By Lucine Kasbarian

Published in Hetq - Investigative Journalists of Armenia; Armenian, Assyrian and Hellenic Genocide News; The Armenian Reporter International, HyeMedia.com and elsewhere.

October 5, 2012

The following article about Artsakh, titled Off the Map in the Black Garden, and written by journalist Russ Juskalian, appeared in the Sept. 21, 2012 edition of the New York Times.

On Sept. 30, Lucine Kasbarian of NJ and MA sent a letter (please see below) to the NY Times in response. To date, the paper has not published her letter. She has granted her permission for it to be published here.

(Russ Juskalian can be reached at: russ AT journ DOT umass DOT edu or russ DOT russjuskalian DOT com)

To the Editors:

It was disappointing to see an article about the rarely written-about Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR, or Artsakh, its ancient Armenian name), miss its mark Off the Map in the Black Garden, Sept. 21.

Writer Russ Juskalian’s curiosity about his ancestry prompted his visit to this historically Armenian territory, and yet his reporting demonstrates a failure to grasp certain fundamental facts.

Armenian Karabakh was given to Azerbaijan in 1923 by Josef Stalin to placate Turkey -- kin to Turkic Azerbaijan. A natural desire by Karabakh Armenians to be reunited with Armenia, driven by the 1988 Azeri pogroms of Armenians in Sumgait, propelled the Armenian self-defense movement that culminated in the Karabakh War (1988-1994).

Juskalian’s article improperly states that the War originated because of pogroms on both sides and falsely claims that genocided Armenians genocided civilians beyond the battleground. He thus perpetuates falsehoods and trivializes a victorious struggle against oppression, especially when his article appears on the Armenian independence anniversary and following a deplorable Azeri act.

In a move that shocked the world conscience, on August 31, Azerbaijan pardoned, promoted and celebrated a convicted and extradited Azeri lieutenant who savagely hacked to death a sleeping Armenian lieutenant attending a NATO “Partnership for Peace” program in Hungary.

One must wonder why NATO and the “great policeman of the world” have done nothing about it. On September 25, Azeri snipers killed a 19-year old Armenian soldier, the latest in countless Azeri killings across the line of contact. Why mislead readers about politics on the ground by publishing an NKR travel article when even NATO will not enter the region to control naked Azeri aggression, which is a routine occurrence?


Lucine Kasbarian

Teaneck, NJ