Oct 05, 2022
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The following article, written for RaymondIbrahim.com by Trey Blanton, on location in Armenia, discusses an important question:  Whereas the U.S. and other Western nations have been immensely responsive to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, they have showed zero interest in another, very similar provocation — Azerbaijan’s invasion of Armenia.

Trey Blanton, STEPANAKERT, Artsakh (CINFUSA.org) — Azerbaijan’s two-day “diplomatic bombardment” came to an end Wednesday night after Armenia and the Azeris agreed to a cease-fire.

I refer to Azeri President Ilham Aliyev’s invasion of his sovereign neighbor as a “diplomatic bombardment” because, in the eyes of Azerbaijan, the use of bullying tactics with a military assault constitutes a valid foreign policy of forcing Armenia to accept peace on Aliyev’s terms — who has time for negotiations, after all?

I have been in the Republic of Artsakh for three months, and hope to stay another two, and three things have become apparent to me in this time concerning the Armenian people’s concerns:

  • Unprovoked military assaults by Azerbaijan have become “the new normal” since the end of the 2020 war.
  • Many Armenians fear that Armenian Prime Minister Nicol Pashinyan will offer up the Republic of Artsakh on a silver platter to placate Aliyev.
  • There is a wide gulf in the way Europe and the United States responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, versus Azerbaijan’s invasion of Armenia.

I, as an American, think the last point bears asking, “Why?”

Both Ukraine and Armenia were absorbed into the former Soviet Union. Corruption and communism are connected enough to be practically synonymous, so it is not surprising that both countries have had to struggle with corruption since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

In pushing for and achieving reforms, however, the trajectories of both nations have been widely divergent.

Transparency International’s 2021 report documents corruption in 180 countries. Based on those scores, Armenia is less corrupt that Ukraine.

Out of the 180 countries Armenia comes in 59th place, while Ukraine ranks 123rd, not much better than Russia, itself, which is the 139th most corrupt country.

So there is no special moral reason—no “moral high ground”—to explain why America and Europe are supportive of Ukraine.

What of American involvement with Ukraine?

President Barrack Obama’s administration has been shown to have orchestrated a coup that saw the overthrow of a neutral Ukrainian president, only to be replaced with an anti-Russian president.

Also, then Vice-President Joe Biden had publicly boasted that he threatened to withhold a billion dollars from Ukraine unless the government fired the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden for his role on the board of an energy company.

Turning to Armenia and Azerbaijan, Transparency International says of Armenia, “Armenia is a success story of the CPI in the last five years, improving 14 points since 2017 to a score of 49.”

One reason why Armenia doesn’t rate higher is because its progress has stalled owing to public discontent over Armenia’s capitulation to Azerbaijan, and PM Pashinyan’s sometimes harsh response to protesters.

Azerbaijan, on the other hand, doesn’t suffer from stalled reforms because they still haven’t begun any:

“Azerbaijan has remained in the bottom third of the CPI since 2012, its score oscillating between 25 and 30. In 2017, the Azerbaijani Laundromat investigation revealed how a vast slush fund financed the regime’s reputation laundering by making payments – mostly through Danske Bank – to politicians across Europe, while jailing outspoken opposition and media figures at home.”

Azerbaijan is so prolific at bribing international politicians that a term for it, “Caviar Diplomacy,” was created to describe Azeri efforts.

Azerbaijan’s efforts aren’t limited to “traditional” politicians, like Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, but the oil-rich autocracy has also pumped money into the Vatican.

Some western so-called intellectuals will discount the role of Islam in Azerbaijan’s assault on Christian Armenians because they renovated holy Catholic sites.

The Quran allows for Muslims to use deceptive practices to divide and conquer Christians, as well as others they consider unbelievers.

Corruption, therefore, is a major factor in explaining the international community’s support of Ukraine, while telling both sides of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict to de-escalate.

This attitude is reminiscent of a time when police would show up to a domestic violence call and tell both husband and wife to calm down, even though one was the primary aggressor.

There is a myriad of other reasons involved in why the West won’t support Armenia, but there is one factor that doesn’t get enough attention:

Establishment politicians and their think-tank enablers hate Russia with a fiery passion.

In my last article, I briefly touched on the Hudson Institute’s Senior Fellow, Luke Coffey. I have now been blocked from viewing his accounts but reading through his Tweets reveals his policy preference is to bleed Russia dry in Ukraine and, since Armenia relies on Russia to protect them from Azerbaijan and Turkey, Armenia must be crushed too.

Supporting Aliyev while condemning Putin shows that think-tanks don’t actually care about whether a regime is authoritarian or not.

America’s post-Soviet policies towards Russia require its own in-depth investigation, which is beyond the capacity of this article to convey.

In the meantime, Christian lives are being lost to another jihad, because the West is too divided to care.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Raymond Ibrahim