Looking at Armenian-Turkish Relations - Without the Paranoia, Obsessions or the Hysteria - October, 2009

Looking at Armenian-Turkish Relations - Without the Paranoia, Obsessions or the Hysteria

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/10/10/world/11clinton2_600.jpg

October, 2009


The so-called protocols have been discussed ad nauseam. Many approaches, be it ideological, nationalistic, political, ethical or spiritual, have been taken into full account. Thus far, the picture painted by many of us Armenians here in the diaspora looks utterly bleak, bordering on apocalyptic. One thing, however, that I have yet to see seriously scrutinized is the crucially important factor of geopolitics, or the thing we call realpolitik. To further reinforce my case I have provided various links at the bottom of this page regarding some of the interesting geopolitical developments occurring somewhat under the mainstream news radar within the Caucasus. The information that I am providing you here is crucial for better understanding what is transpiring in the Caucasus today. Thus, these links definitely deserve a serious look. I urge you all to make some time and read them. But before that, I have a some comments to make.

It may be a Russian project

Basing my opinion on what I have been observing within regional developments for the past several years, it is quite obvious that there are serious plans for the greater Caucasus region, plans in which Armenia may take center stage. The mastermind of this new agenda is Vladimir Putin's Moscow, and one of the most obvious manifestations of this agenda has been the warming of relations between Turkey and Armenia.

Do not believe ignorant talk concerning the rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia being a American agenda for it is far from it. The United States is currently powerless in the Caucasus and will remain so indefinitely. The Western world is forced to go along with the political/economic process set in motion by Moscow. Let's remember that the warming of relations between Ankara and Yerevan was started in Moscow shortly before the commencement of the Russian-Georgian war during the summer of 2008. Turkish-Armenian relations then reached a climax when Turkey's Gül visited Armenia in the immediate aftermath of the summer war. It is crucial to note here that the Russian-Georgian war was a war that saw the decisive defeat of the American-European-Turkish-Israeli backed regime in Tbilisi. According to many international political analysts Georgia's defeat more-or-less heralded the expulsion of Western, Turkish and Israeli presence from within the Caucasus region. Moreover, unknown by many today, Georgia's defeat in fact stopped Azerbaijan from launching a major military offensive against Artsakh (see related link below).

For those who are unfamiliar with the geopolitics of the region in question, the following is a simple explanation: 

For the past twenty years or so the political and financial elite in the Western world, in-tandem with Turkey and Israel, has been attempting to wrestle the strategic region of the Caucasus away from Russian control. The bloody Islamic insurgency in Chechnya and the arming of Georgia had been an integral part of this anti-Russian agenda. Although Moscow has had success quelling the Western backed Islamic insurgency in the Caucasus, as well as monopolizing Central Asian gas/oil distribution networks and crushing the Western backed regime in Georgia, a potential threat to the Russian Federation will remain in the region for the foreseeable future. This is precisely the reason why Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) will continue to play a vital strategic role for the Russian Federation.

Needless to say, we Armenians need to be mindful of the fact that without a strong Russian presence in the Caucasus the entire region in question will no doubt turn into a Turkic/Islamic cesspool and a playground for various intelligence services. The fledgling and vulnerable Armenian republic cannot survive as a nation-state in the Caucasus without an effective Russian presence there.


Moscow is remaking the Caucasus

With the Caucasus now effectively in their hands, and at their mercy, Moscow seems to be embarked on long term plan to essentially remake the Caucasus. And, for better or for worst, Moscow has decided that it will use its regional strategic partner, Armenia, as its staging-ground for deeper relations with regional nations. Armenia, as its only ally in the region, is expected to project Russian power in the south Caucasus and beyond. Moreover, because Georgia has indefinitely closed its border with Russia and because of existing high tensions in the Black Sea that may one day erupt into a major regional war, Moscow is attempting to secure its political and economic interests in the south Caucasus by opening up alternative transit routes via Armenia.

If and when the Turkish-Armenian matter is taken care of we can expect more of the same for the problems that exists between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and all the political indicators today suggest that Moscow will not undermine Armenia, its only reliable regional ally and the only check against Turkish expansionism in the Caucasus, by forcing Yerevan to relinquish its control over Artsakh. Moreover, due to Europe's severe dependency on Central Asian gas and oil (the distribution of which Moscow now fully controls) coupled with the economic crisis that currently engulfs them, the West is more-or-less going along with Moscow's plans. In other words, the West has conceded defeat in the Caucasus. They realize that they can't stop Moscow and they desperately need the energy and Moscow is more than happy to sell them what they want through their regional stronghold, Armenia.


Armenia's political leadership needs support

Before we figuratively speaking begin to hang our nation's leadership for some vague wordage used on some meaningless piece of paper, let's all first realize that a tiny, impoverished, remote and landlocked nation surrounded by enemies in the Caucasus has very limited leverage on an international negotiation table. Our political leadership in Yerevan needs to be commended for their efforts in keeping our nation afloat against great odds. Armenia has cemented its strategic ties with Moscow, it has nurtured its good relations with Tehran and has kept close to the Western world. And now, an economic and military giant in the region, Turkey, who also happens to be Armenia's historic enemy, has been forced to sit at the negotiation table with Yerevan. For a tiny, poor, landlocked nation in the volatile Caucasus these have been an impressive feat by our nation's diplomatic corps.

Nonetheless, we must realize that Armenia is not, nor can it be under its current geopolitical circumstances, a truly an independent state. What we need to be grateful about, however, is the simple fact that for once in our recent history we as a nation serve the strategic interests of a regional superpower. And what we can take pride in is the simple fact that as a result of our strategic relationship with Moscow Armenia's borders (as well as that of Artsakh's) have never been stronger. As a matter of fact, Turkey agreeing to open borders with Armenia while Artsakh firmly remains under Armenian control has been a major victory for the Armenian side. We, as a nation, need to take advantage of this rare opportunity to strengthen our republic.


Nevertheless, don't worry folks, even if Armenia's leadership were all a bunch of traitors and they all wanted to sell Armenia to the Turks, Russians would not allowed it, nor would Iranians for that matter. Let's not forget what happened to Vazgen Sargsyan and Garen Demirjian when they got too close to Western powers back in 1999. Therefore, don't kid yourselves, Yeltsin's Russia is long gone. If the Kremlin today thought that the southern Caucasus would be penetrated by Turks as a result of open borders with Armenia there would be no Turkish-Armenian relations to speak of today. Bluntly put, I have more trust in the FSB and the GRU to protect Armenia from a Turkish infestation than I do on us Armenians. 


And for many of us to suggest that with the borders open Turkey will somehow outsmart Russians, Armenians and Iranians in the Caucasus when in fact Ankara is utterly afraid of Russia's military might and is dependent on Russian trade and energy is, simply put, stupid. Individuals who think this way need to better understand the nature of geopolitics and closely monitor what is transpiring in the Russian Federation today. Besides, the Armenian market is already flooded today with Turkish goods coming via Georgia. In reality there has never been any obstacles for Turkish goods from reaching Armenia. So then why not just cut out the middleman in Tbilisi? 

Turkish businessmen buying up Armenian businesses? Ridicules! Turkish businessmen did not need "open borders" to do that. Turkish individuals have had access to Armenia essentially since Armenia's independence. Moreover, many of us are unaware (because many of us are blinded by panic today) that Armenian governmental officials have already began to take preventative measures to protect the republic's economic infrastructure from potential problems that may occur in the future. Nonetheless, talk about Turks overwhelming the Armenian economy when the borders are opened is nothing but politically driven fear mongering.

Armenia's progress is number one priority

I personally do not believe that our leadership in Yerevan is stupid, in that they do not understand politics, nor do I believe that they are treasonous, in that they have been bought by Turks. On the contrary, I am deeply impressed by president Sargsyan's foresight and courage in all this. Our leadership in Yerevan is forced to go along with the greater agenda that has been placed on the table by the major powers and they are trying hard to extract some benefit from it. Let us also take into serious consideration the troubling realization that Armenia has been stagnating politically and economically due to its idle economy, political isolation and poverty. If nothing is done about this serious predicament, in a generation or two our landlocked and resource-less country may forever sink into a Third World oblivion. The leadership in our republic is expected to do anything and everything to ensure Armenia's prosperity and longevity.

In my opinion, as a result of recent political developments in the Caucasus region Armenia has not been in a better position, politically speaking, in perhaps a thousand years. Baring any unexpected calamities in the region, I have to say that for the first time in my life I have actually began to see some light at the end of our nation's long dark tunnel. There is a real possibility today for Armenia to become a regional trade hub in the near future. 

Might makes right

Some of you may ask what about Western Armenia and efforts to make the world recognize the genocide? Well, the harsh reality of the matter is, Western Armenia can only come under Armenian control when Armenia becomes a powerful nation and is able to take it back from Turkey at the cost of blood. And the only way Turkey will recognize the Armenian Genocide and pay its long overdue reparations is when it is on its knees. Anyone that thinks any of this can be done otherwise is delusional. From the beginning of time it's been - might makes right - and it's no different today.


International law is made and broken by the rich and the powerful of this world. It does not matter if Armenia officially recognizes the Turkish border or not. Legal documents and treaties are made to be broken, examples are far too many to cite. Let the politicians play their games on the international stage, it is the responsibility of the rest of us to keep the light of Western Armenia lit within our households until the day comes when Ankara is on its knees. Until then, however, the prosperity and security of the current Armenian state takes precedence over all other concerns. As Armenians our number one priority today should be to secure Artsakh's independence or its unification with Armenia and to strengthen the Armenian republic militarily, demographically, economically and politically. Everything else is secondary, as far as I'm concerned.

Diaspora's shortsightedness

This is the time for our diaspora to get active in our homeland. However, the self-destructive rhetoric of the opposition against the political process at hand has been deeply disheartening for me. From Los Angeles to Beirut, I have only observed hysteria, paranoia, ignorance and/or self-serving political agendas. Yes, I understand that it is politically healthy for our nation's intellectuals and leading political activists to oppose the protocols for whatever reason they wish to oppose it for because it gives our statesmen more leverage on the negotiation table. But for us to begin mass hysteria and spew hate speech against our nation's representatives is unacceptable and counterproductive.
 

Sadly, our diaspora’s decades long obsession with genocide recognition has handicapped it psychologically, so much so that today it is unable to function outside of the genocide perspective. This is essentially the reason why many diasporans today are unable to see the meaning of life as Armenians when the protocols are ratified. This saddens me greatly. How shallow, how conditional, is our Armenian identity? The Armenian diaspora needs to better understand the nature of geopolitics in the volatile Caucasus and it needs to better consider Armenia's long term national interests. We Armenians also need to realize that the ones today putting a wedge between the diaspora and Armenia are not Armenian officials, Turks, Westerners or Russians... it is us diasporans. Shame on us! As I said, this is the time for the diaspora to get active in our homeland.

In closing I would like to say that with some concerns and reservations I remain hopeful that something good will come out of the current political process. I am looking at what's occurring in Armenian-Turkish relations objectively and rationally, without the paranoia, hysteria or obsessions expressed by many of us today. Nevertheless, decisions have been made by higher powers and whether we like it or not things are going to change. It's best to adapt to these changes. The new geopolitical climate in the Caucasus today can prove to be a great opportunity for Armenia if our nation's representatives play their cards correctly. This may yet prove to be the best political opportunity Armenia has had in a thousand years. Yet, due to the shortsighted and narrow-minded mindsets present in our communities, many amongst us (if not the majority) would rather prefer Armenia to be left out of progress. As long as our homeland fits our shallow ideologies and expectations we could careless if it forever remains a Third World nation. We, in the diaspora, as long as we choose to remain in the diaspora, have no right to 'demand' anything from officials in Armenia because it is the natives of Armenia that will have to live with the consequences of regional politics - not us. Armenia cannot be the diaspora's test tube nor can it be held hostage to its ideological whims. 

I ask you again to read the information from the following sources to better understand what is happening in the Caucasus today.

Arevordi


***
Opening of Armenian-Turkish Border Should be a Russian but not a U.S. Project: http://www.panarmenian.net/news/eng/?nid=27006

The Caucasus: Small War, Big Damage:
http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/t...6.php?CID=1176

That Was No Small War in Georgia — It Was the Beginning of the End of the American Empire:
http://donvandergriff.wordpress.com/...erican-empire/
Shifting Geopolitics- The Rise of Russia and Turkey: http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article9509.html
Russia's Invasion of Georgia: Strategic Implications: http://www.policypointers.org/Page/View/7951
Caucasus: The War That Was, The World War That Might Have Been: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14779

A Superpower Is Reborn:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/24/opinion/24steel.html?_r=1

Armenia would be in a state of war should Georgia’s plan not fail in 2008:
http://panarmenian.net/news/eng/?nid=35172
U.S. Sees Much to Fear in a Hostile Russia: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/22/world/europe/22policy.html

Caucasus Is Real Citadel of Russian Power:
http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinio...le/383525.html

A Northern Neighbor Growls, and Azerbaijan Reassesses Its Options:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/23/wo...i.html?_r=1&em

RUSSIA: MOSCOW MULLS CONSTRUCTION OF ARMENIA-IRAN RAILWAY LINK:
http://www.eurasianet.org/department...v093009b.shtml

ARMENIA: RAILWAY PREPARES TO GO TO TURKEY:
http://www.eurasianet.org/department...v092909c.shtml

Seven-thousand kilometer project is awaiting parliamentary approval:
http://www.sabahenglish.com/news/8386.html

Turkish press: EU to involve Armenia in Nabucco project at Georgia’s expense:
http://news.am/en/news/3805.html

Asian Bank To Fund Road Projects In Armenia, Georgia:
http://www.azatutyun.am/content/article/1839958.html

Alexey Miller: Iran, Turkey to do gas swaps through Armenia:
http://news.am/en/news/3883.html

Gasprom considers possible construction of oil refinery in Armenia:
http://www.arka.am/eng/energy/2009/06/23/15426.html

Russia signs deal to build Turkey's first nuclear power plant:
http://en.rian.ru/business/20090806/155747143.html

Azerbaijan: The Stark New Energy Landscape:
http://www.turkishforum.com.tr/en/co...rgy-landscape/

YEVSEYEV: TURKISH-ARMENIAN DIALOGUE TOWARDS RUSSIAN INTERESTS:
http://www.historyoftruth.com/news/y...ests-3978.html

Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Is Possible – and Necessary:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.p...t=va&aid=10083

Turkey in tight spot between Russia and NATO:
http://www.reuters.com/article/reute...BrandChannel=0

Turkey Plays to Russia in Caucasus:
http://www.kommersant.com/p1022936/r...rkey_Caucasus/
Russia is determined to bring NATO’s Expansion Eastward to a Halt: http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10237

Iran/Russia - a deadly embrace - part I (video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uowvTCtZws

Iran/Russia - a deadly embrace - part II (video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UY_rxOlly4
Turkey's Guilty Conscience: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/10/09/turkeys_guilty_conscience?page=0,2
Armenia: Russia's Strengthening Hand: http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/armenia_russias_strengthening_hand
USA trying to break up Armenian-Russian military relations, general says: http://www.eurasianet.org/resource/armenia/hypermail/200005/0040.html
Obamas Caucasus Diplomacy Under Radar: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-mankoff/obamas-caucasus-diplomacy_b_325350.html
Russia Georgia... and Iran: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/howard-schweber/russia-georgia-and-iran_b_123028.html
Putin as Energy Tsar Russian Gas Outflanks US Missiles: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-fiderer/putin-as-energy-tsar-russ_b_118920.html
Diplomacy Could Fool the World or Change the Caucasus: http://www.neurope.eu/articles/97033.php
Russia, Iran and the Biden Speech: http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20091026_russia_iran_and_biden_speech?utm_source=GWeekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=091026&utm_content=readmore
Turkish-Armenian Protocols: Reality and Irrationality: http://www.hairenik.com/weekly/2009/10/01/davidian-turkish-armenian-protocols-reality-and-irrationality/
RUSSIA-USA-IRAN AND ENERGY SECURITY OF ARMENIA: http://www.noravank.am/en/?page=analitics&nid=2082

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Dear reader,

Arevordi will be taking a sabbatical to tend to personal matters. New blog commentaries will henceforth be posted on an irregular basis. The comments board however will continue to be moderated on a regular basis.

The last 20 years or so has also helped me see Russia as the last front against scourges of Westernization, Globalism, American expansionism, Zionism, Islamic extremism and pan-Turkism. I have also come to see Russia as the last hope humanity has for the preservation of classical western civilization, Apostolic Christianity and the traditional nation-state. This compelled me to create this blog in 2010. Immediately, this blog became one of the very few voices in the vastness of cyberia that dared to preach about the dangers of Globalism and the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance, and the only voice preaching the strategic importance of Armenia remaining within Russia's orbit. From about 2010 to 2015 I did monthly, at times weekly, commentaries about Russian-Armenian relations and Eurasian geopolitics in general. It was very difficult for me because I had no assistance from anywhere. The time I put into this blog therefore came at the expense of work and family. But a powerful feeling inside urged me to keep going; and I did. When Armenia joined the EEU and integrated into Russia's military structures a couple of years ago I finally felt a deep sense of relaxation, as if a very heavy burden was lifted off my back. And when Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan reemerged in Armenian politics, I finally felt that my personal mission was accomplished. I therefore felt I could take a step back as I really needed the rest.

Simply put: I have lived to see the institutionalization of Russian-Armenian alliance. Also, I feel more confident now that Armenians are collectively recognizing the strategic importance of Armenia's ties with Russia. Moreover, I feel satisfied knowing that, at least on a subatomic level, I had a hand in the outcome. As a result, I feel a strong sense of mission accomplished. I therefore no longer have the internal urge to continue as in the past. In other words, the motivational force that had propelled me in previous years has been gradually dissipating because I feel that this blog has lived to see the realization of its stated goal.

Going forward, I do not want to write merely for the sake of writing. Also, I do not want to say anything if I have nothing important to say. I feel like I have said everything I needed to say. Henceforth, I will post seasonal commentaries about topics I find important. I will however moderate the blog's comments section on a regular basis; ultimately because I'm interested in what readers of this blog have to say and also because it's through readers here that I am at times made aware of interesting developments. To limit clutter in the comments section, I kindly ask all participants of this blog to please keep comments coherent and strictly relevant to the featured topic of discussion. Moreover, please realize that when there are several anonymous visitors posting comments simultaneously, it becomes very confusing (not to mention extremely annoying) trying to figure out who is who and who said what. If you are here to engage in conversation, make an observation, express an idea or just attack me, I ask you to at least use a moniker to identify yourself.

Please appreciate the fact that I have put an enormous amount of information into this blog. In my opinion, most of my blog commentaries and articles, going back ten-plus years, are in varying degrees relevant to this day and will remain so for a long time to come. Posts in this blog can therefore be revisited by longtime readers and new comers alike. I therefore ask the reader to treat this blog as a depository of important information relating to Eurasian geopolitics. Russian-Armenian relations and humanity's historic fight against Globalism and Westernization.

Thank you for reading.