Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A friend whose first cousin (brother, as they say in Armenia) died in fighting in Mardakert in the early 1990s was furious as she talked about the meeting in Moscow between the presidents of Armenia, Russia, and Azerbaijan. “The first thing I have to say is this: who gave Serge the right to make a decision, any decision, about Karabagh and the territories? At least Kocharian was in the midst of things, during the war, but where was Serge? And why isn’t he talking about the return of Azeris to Karabagh? It’s convenient to keep that part of the proposed peace deal quiet. That way the Diaspora Armenians will give even more money for this or that telethon. And the rich Armenians, and organizations, who are ecstatic about the Moscow meeting. What do they care about giving back the territories? Not one of them spilled blood, or saw what we all went through. What country wins a war, gains territories, and gives it all back, without a fight? I was in Ararat yesterday, meeting with several men who had fought in Karabagh. They’re all ready to fight again, if fighting broke out, but are angry at the talk going around about giving back the territories. I think that if Serge agrees to give up the territories, and lets Azeris back into Karabagh, Armenians will reject the plan, and Serge will have to resign, like Levon did.

“Those in the Diaspora who are so happy now about the proposed peace plans don’t know Turks. I’ll tell you what happened in Shamshadin during the war. My neighbor, from Movses village, told me this story. During fighting along the border, near Movses, the Azeris captured a commander and a few fighters. They tied the commander to a wall and, in front of his fighters, had Azeris, one by one, break the commander’s arms, then legs, then fingers, one by one, till he died. They want to make peace with these people? In the end, they’ll pay. But, those living in the Diaspora won’t pay, it will be the locals here who pay. How many came from the Diaspora to fight in Karabagh? Maybe two hundred? They were all brave, those men and women, Monte and the others. But where was the rest of the Diaspora?”

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