Op-Ed by David Boyajian
There may be no regime more loathsome and deserving of U.S./European condemnation and punitive sanctions than that of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his crew of criminals and monsters.
Corrupt to the Core
- OCCRP, the international crime/corruption watchdog, named Aliyev its 2012 Organized Crime and Corruption Person of the Year.
His family has secretly amassed major “stakes in the country’s … banks, construction companies, [and] gold mines” and snapped up over $140 million in luxury residences abroad.
By 2021, Aliyev’s crime syndicate had covertly accumulated British property worth $700 million.
- The Azerbaijani Laundromat was a $2.9 billion money-laundering racket. It bribed British, German, Italian, and various European officials to whitewash Azerbaijan’s repulsive reputation.
- In 2013, Azerbaijan surreptitiously bankrolled a propaganda junketto Baku for 10 congresspersons and over 30 staffers from IL, NJ, NM, NY, OK, and TX. Aliyev showered them with jewelry, rugs, and other goodies which the Office of so-called Congressional Ethics belatedly forced them to surrender.
- “Respected” American publications and Congress’ Azerbaijan Caucus — including shifty co-chair Henry Cuellar (D-TX), an FBI target — reportedly concealed Azerbaijan’s crimes.
State Sponsor of Terrorism
- Azerbaijan deployed thousands of terrorists/jihadis against Christian Armenians in the early 1990s, including Afghan Mujahedin, Chechens, and Turkey’s Grey Wolves,
- Azerbaijan had long befriended Osama Bin Laden. Baku’s Al-Qaeda cell belonged to the network that bombed American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. A dozen Americans and 212 others perished.
- Columbia University’s Peace-Building/Human Rights program and others have documented Aliyev’s using thousands of terrorist mercenaries in his unprovoked 2020 war against Armenian-populated Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabagh (N-K) and Armenia. Turkey openly transported them from Syria and Libya.
During the war, Azeri zealots chanted, “Jihad, jihad, jihad.” In Baku? No, in Washington, DC.
- The EU Parliament denounced (January 20, 2021) Baku and Ankara for using “foreign terrorists” against Armenians.
- The UN’s Working Group on Mercenaries condemned(November 6, 2020) Baku’s and Ankara’s hiring of jihadis. Predictably, the UN probe has stalled, doubtless due to obstruction by the U.S. and others.
- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee grilled (July 21, 2021) neo-con Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, potty-mouthed Victoria Nuland, about Turkey’s delivering terrorists to She refused to answer in open session.
- Azerbaijan is unashamedly homicidal/genocidal.
Baku Mayor Hajibala Abutalybov to a Bavarian delegation (2006): ‘‘Our goal is the complete elimination of Armenians. You, Nazis, already eliminated the Jews in the 1930s and ’40s, right?’’
Nurlan Ibrahimov, a Baku soccer team’s public relations director (Facebook, October 2020): We must kill all Armenians — children, women and the elderly.”
Using sledgehammers and dump trucks, Azerbaijani troops destroyed (YouTube: New Tears of Araxes) a huge ninth-century Armenian Christian cemetery in Nakhichevan. Stalin had cruelly assigned the latter Armenian territory (and Artsakh/N-K) to Azerbaijan in the 1920s.
U.S. lawmakers, the EU Parliament, and others have decried the cemetery’s destruction and the ongoing eradication and vandalism of many Armenian churches/monuments, to no avail. The State Department’s reaction has been negligible.
Yet consider the uproar by American officials, media, and conservative Evangelicals whenever Jewish cemeteries or synagogues are vandalized/attacked/destroyed.
- Baku’s claims to nearly all of 3000-year-old Armenia are preposterous. No country/nation named Azerbaijan (a Persian/Iranian name) existed before 1918. The region was ethnically/religiously mixed. Some of its Muslims identified as Tartar/Turkish. Only in the 1930s did these start calling themselves Azerbaijanis.
- During/after the 2020 war, Azerbaijani perpetrated voluminous and varied evils and crimes (besides those in/after 1988).
Warning: Often graphic and disturbing.
- Executions of captured Armenian
- Beheadings (video removed but available).
- Desecration of a dead, naked Armenian woman (videos removed but available).
- Armenian POWs are still imprisoned and tortured.
- Bombardment of Artsakh/N-K’s “hospitals, schools, local water supply.”
- Azerbaijan used banned white phosphorous and, reportedly, cluster bombs
- Azerbaijan has illegally blockaded — food, electricity, gas, communications — the 120,000 indigenous Armenians of Artsakh/N-K. Baku has defied an International Court of Justice order to end the blockade. Moscow slyly allows the blockade.
For about 30 years, Artsakh/N-K, with Yerevan’s help, outfought a better-armed, wealthier, and far more populous Azerbaijan. Artsakh became self-governing, democratic, and largely safe from Baku’s savagery.
Only Turkey’s and Israel’s military participation, and Moscow’s deliberate passivity, turned the tide against Armenians in 2020. It’s apparently Tel Aviv’s first martial campaign against a nearly all-Christian country.
Azerbaijan now aims to ethnically cleanse Artsakh and has seized chunks of Armenia.
Meanwhile, Washington and Europe needlessly kowtow to Baku, wildly embellishing its energy exporting value.
- Azerbaijan supplies a mere fraction (perhaps 3%) of the EU’s natural gas.
- Baku imports Russian gas and reportedly sells it to the West, thereby undermining Western sanctions against Russia.
- Russia owns part of Azerbaijan’s gas fields/pipelines. Aliyev is stuffing Putin’s pockets with Western cash.
- Azerbaijan has no choice but to send its gas westward due to binding contracts, existing pipelines, and lack of alternative markets.
The Right Path
I’ve shown elsewhere that the Caucasus’ swing country is Armenia. Whichever direction it goes, so goes the Caucasus.
Russia’s stranglehold over Armenia and Artsakh remains. But the West’s rejection of sanctions against the obvious aggressor, Azerbaijan, unmasks the duplicity behind its sponsorship of talks between Yerevan and Baku.
Moreover, Washington’s flouting of Section 907’s restrictions on aid to Azerbaijan brings further dishonor upon America.
If Armenians are wise they won’t agree to anything with Baku unless Yerevan gets rock-solid Western security guarantees, hi-tech weapons, and a long-term, armed international peace-keeping force in Artsakh.
Otherwise, given Azerbaijan’s blood-soaked, deceitful record, its signature on a “peace” agreement is worthless.
The author’s main focus is the Caucasus. His work is archived at https://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/David_Boyajian
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Top image: Horizon Weekly
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