For decades, the Armenian-American political lobby in the United States has pushed aggressively to chalk up symbolic victories by pressuring state and other legislative bodies into granting utterly-nonbinding “recognition” to the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (N.K.R.), the Armenian puppet state which the newly independent Republic of Armenia, with the help of Russia, carved out of Azerbaijan’s western flank in a bloody campaign of ethnic cleansing in the late 1980s and ’90s. The N.K.R. has essentially no recognition in the real world of international diplomacy, except from three puppet states of the Russian Federation: Abkhazia and South Ossetia (within Georgia) and Transnistria (within Moldova). Not even Armenia or its close ally, Russia, recognizes the N.K.R. But the Armenian National Committee of America (A.N.C.A.) and other groups have successfully cajoled the state legislatures of Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, as well as the Los Angeles city council, to “recognize” the N.K.R. (Abroad, Australia’s state of New South Wales recognizes it too.)
|Armenian-American demonstrators in Los Angeles display Nagorno-Karabakh flags.|
|Mammad Talibov tells the Vermont Senate the Azeri side of the story.|
Earlier, in 2004, Vermont’s governor, James H. Douglas, officially recognized the Turkish genocide of Armenians during the First World War. There are not a lot of Armenians in Vermont, but they include the novelist Chris Bohjalian, possibly the most prominent Armenian-American writer, who has written novels about the genocide and lives in Lincoln, Vermont. It was Bohjalian who brought the N.K.R. recognition issue to Montpelier.
|Chris Bohjalian poses before a statue in Yerevan, Armenia,|
of William Saroyan, another Armenian-American writer.
|Armenians with their national flag|
The Armenian lobby in the U.S. should have just stuck with the genocide question. Their moral stance on that issue is unassailable. Instead, they opted for mimicking the fundraising model of Jewish-American groups raising money for Israel in the early days of Israeli settlement. In fact, the N.K.R. was largely built with money from Armenian-American donors. But Armenia has now squandered the moral authority it enjoyed as a nation victimized by genocide. Armenian-Americans had better climb down from their support for the N.K.R. now. Because if Nagorno-Karabakh does become the next Crimea-type battleground in Putin’s Russo-fascist expansionist schemes, it could get very uncomfortable for them in the U.S.
|You won’t see this picture on the Armenian National Committee of America|
website: Syria’s dictator Bashar al-Assad with Armenia’s president, Serzh Sargsyan
|Flag of the Second Vermont Republic|