Op-Ed: Armenian Genocide Part II

Eliana Goncuian, CLU Armenian Student Association Co-President

Editors’ note: This is an Op-Ed submission. Opinions expressed are solely of the writer and do not express the views or opinions of The Echo. All students at California Lutheran University are invited to submit Op-Eds.

Armenians today are living in the most crucial phase of our millennial history.

Azerbaijan and Turkey are not pursuing any regular military or political issue. They are not mercilessly killing innocent civilians simply for gaining more territories, villages and cities.

Their goal is to purge the world of Armenians, starting with eliminating their country, and no one is doing anything to stop them.

In 1939, Hitler said it best: “who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

The events transpiring today are a direct result of the 100-plus years of Armenian Genocide denial. The world is allowing itself to remain unaware and influenced by falsified media coverage, allowing history to repeat itself.

On the morning of Sept. 27, 2020, Azerbaijan began a series of coordinated aerial and missile attacks on Artsakh.

Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, is a territory made up of ethnic Armenians that broke from Azerbaijan after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Artsakh has the same currency, banking, and language as Armenia, but was annexed to Azerbaijan by Josef Stalin under the Soviet Union.

Due to conflict of ownership, territorial wars caused Artsakh to become a de facto independent state.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has committed full support to Azerbaijan and called for the overthrow of the Armenian government.

Together, Azerbaijan and Turkey have a population of almost 100 million, while Armenia has a population of 3 million. Regardless of the obvious numerical disadvantage, both Turkey and Azerbaijan claim that Armenia is the aggressor.

Over the last week, more than 300 Armenians have already fallen in battle and towns in Artsakh have sustained heavy damage.

Simultaneously, global hate crimes against Armenian expats have skyrocketed, with Armenian schools, businesses and cultural centers being the targets of vandalism and arson.

Nevertheless, mainstream American media refrained from reporting this geopolitical news.

Some Armenians in the U.S. are flying to Armenia to fight side-by-side with their Artsakh brothers and sisters.

Other diasporan Armenians are desperately asking for help and solidarity from the American community.

In California, Armenians have held consecutive protests over the last week and even managed to blockade the 101 freeway in an attempt to gain media attention.

Last Friday, Armenia’s foreign ministry was prepared to work with France, Russia and the United States to reach a ceasefire with Azerbaijan.

While the three allies called for an end to hostility, Turkey instead supported its ally Azerbaijan and has repeated that Armenian “occupiers” must withdraw.

According to CNN, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev gave no indication of a cessation of hostilities.

“I think the Armenian government overestimated their so-called importance on global arena, overestimated the possible international support to them and made very serious mistakes provoking us, attacking us and now they are suffering the very serious defeat,” Aliyev said in an interview with Al Jazeera.

Azerbaijan and Turkey are deliberately murdering innocent civilians with the hope of taking land with less than 1% Azeri population, furthering the notion that they have no purpose fighting so mercilessly for land that is ethnically and historically Armenian.

Turkey is leading a proxy war to satisfy its imperial pan-Turkish aspiration to dominate yet another region.

Geographically, Armenia is the only country keeping Turkey and Azerbaijan from joining and furthering this goal. 

Turkish President Erdogan said, “we will continue to fulfill this mission, which our grandfathers have carried out for centuries in the Caucasus.”

The motivations of the Turkish President Erdogan and Azeri President Aliyev’s governments are far beyond the land dispute. Rather, their goal is the total extermination of Armenians in the region and completion of the first Armenian Genocide of 1915.

Woven deeply into Armenian culture are the events of 1915, when 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks in a campaign widely acknowledged, but stridently denied by Turkey, to be genocidal.

This “mission” is finishing the Armenian Genocide and eliminating the entire Armenian race.

The Armenians are not fighting for land, they are fighting simply for existence.

The following quote by the famous American-Armenian novelist William Saroyan beautifully sums up what it means to be an Armenian, “go ahead, destroy Armenia,” he said.

“See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.”