“And Furthermore Carthage must be destroyed” i.
The aim of this analysis is not to sow interracial hatred or enmity, this is a totality of meditations and facts connected with Armenian-Azerbaijan relations, its future and further development. With the help of historical overview we will try to understand the reasons of creation of a state called Azerbaijan, our current problems and deeds during the analysis. We will try to draw lessons from the April events analyzing them from a military – political point of view (the author is not a military theorist and what he will introduce is not an analysis of military operations).
The territory of the present-day Azerbaijan includes historic Albania, Utik, Paytakaran and also partly Syunik and Ayrarat provinces of the Kingdom of Armenia, and toponym Azerbaijan, which was the historic name of the northwestern territory of Iran, did not spread to the present-day territory till 1918. The name of the territory is the Arabic version of Persian toponym Adarbadakan, which corresponds to the name of middle Persian Adurpatakan. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which included Arran and Shirvan territories of Caucasian Albania, was founded on May 1918 when in South Caucasus, disconnected from the Russian Empire, the Republics of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia were created and in the mentioned geographical area Musavat authority was established led by Nuri Pasha’s forces (half- brother of Enver Pasha). The Republic of Azerbaijan existed till May 28, 1920 when Soviet regime was established here. Till 1920s Azerbaijanis were known as Turks or Caucasian Tatars.
What are the goals of the establishment of Azerbaijan and what is the role of the latter? As it is known in the first decades of the 20th century in Turkey “Pan” ideas followed one another, which were mainly connected with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and with the crisis of Turkish identity i.e. local dominant people. Perhaps, for Armenians Pan-Turkish and Vatan (motherland) were the most painful and dangerous ideas, according to which it was intended to create a state populated absolutely with Turks first of all in Asia Minor (which also included Western Armenia), and to create Great Turan connecting with Turkish tribes of Central Asia via Eastern Armenia, Iranian and Russian Atropatenes and Northern Caucasus, till China and Altai.. But the problem is that these Turkish tribes were not dominant or even more titular in any other place, except Turkey. These were groups of people with quite a low level of cultural identity, who just had common language and religion, but did not even have ethnic names and often were being named by the name of the place for example Caucasian Turks, highlanders, people of Middle Asia etc. Young Turk government perfectly perceived the issue which had been set for the construction of statehood for these tribes, which was often completely artificial and unsubstantiated (private representatives as Jemal, Enver and others continued this work already in place even after the collapse of Young Turk regime).
So, one should understand that Azerbaijan received the form of state by active intervention of Turkish political elite in order to implement the latter’s honour and political objectives and this was done in order to multiply Turkish power and influence.
However, what refers to Azerbaijan there are several other aspects. In particular to call the republic as Azerbaijan pursued serious political goals, i.e. manifest exactingness over Islamic Republic of Iran (concerning the southern or Iranian Azerbaijan) as well as show that Armenian Syunik, Nakhichevan and Artsakh, to some extent being populated by Azeris (in those years it was a fairy serious percentage) and being located between two brother nations, were seized by Armenians and are considered to be a wedge in the center of Turkey. Further military operations were intended to eliminate that wedge. However, during the heroic battle in May Armenians overwhelmed the elite divisions of Turkish army and threw them out of the most parts of Eastern Armenia and showed that the occupation of Armenia by force was inaccessible for Turkish army at that moment. So in this way a plan was established to encircle Armenia, gradually weaken and part by part destroy it. Turkey from the West, Azerbaijan from the East, first economically and then as a result of military operations had to be able to suppress the Armenians’ resistance and conquer Armenia. There is no need to detail what dangerous consequences that plan was fraught with for Armenians, merely one can come to a conclusion, that it would mean the end of the physical existence of the Armenian nation.
The historical overview was intended to produce the plans formerly worked out by our rivals, yet during the existence of the First Republic, in order to show that nowadays their approaches have not particularly changed. Azerbaijan and Turkey continue the economic and political blockade, cultural and historical falsification and of course, the preparation of military revanche of Armenia.
However, the ratio of forces has been changed. If formerly the Armenian forces were hardly enough to protect the capital, the struggle for existence of Artsakh proved that we are able to liberate the occupied regions of motherland and what is more important, the Armenians’ psychology has changed. Armenians are no longer survivors or people who underwent genocide, but a country, which won a victory during the war, which is protected by the only victorious army of the CIS.
Now let us try to clarify what the aim of the Armenian two states and the logic of present actions in this situation is.
Perhaps this is the procrastination of status quo i.e. of this existing situation by maintaining military and political parity. As for me, this approach is wrong as in conditions of current regime our economy and human resources do not provide necessary growth, and year after year we fall behind Azerbaijan, while latter increasingly consolidates its position. It seems that status quo is in favour of us, but in fact time is against us.
Briefly referring to the April warii. let us present its motives and results. Azerbaijan needed a little success, like Sadat in ”Yom Kippur War”iii., in order to present the society regardless its own losses and real importance of acquisition. Besides, there was also a pure military problem, as Major General Ter-Tadevosyan characterized, it was a ”reconnaissance by fire” when the rival was testing our defensive capacity by the help of active military actions. But the scenario completely failed thanks to Armenian soldiers and officers’ obstinacy, bravery and devotion, which in some extent was unexpected. And in spite of some achievements, Azerbaijani army paid a Pyrrhic price and we gained time to rearrange our position in both direct and indirect sense.
The April war proved that the parity still remains in spite of the availability of Azerbaijn’s modern military equipment and with current resources none of the parties can win a victory with respect to another with lightning speed. However it proved one more thing that Azerbaijan’s approach had not changed. It inflames the situation, by means of unsteady and continuous war tries to make Armenian forces bleed to death, making Armenophobia a state policy, brings up an unprecedented Armenophobe generation resolutely getting ready for revanche.
The large scale war is in fact inevitable, that is what April events showed. It may happen at any time, because there is a contradiction of vital needs between our countries which is considered to be the most negative situation in the conflict resolution. On the one hand is Armenia, which during the last 500 years registered the first great achievement with the victory of Artsakh battle for survival which is at the same time the issue of physical existence of the population of Artsakh and even the slight endangering of which brings to national self-mobilization iv. (the situation is more strained because a young generation with state mentality emerged in Armenia for the first time during the last millennium). On the other hand is Azerbaijan seeking revanche at any cost and having only a state idea of Armenophobia, which at least cannot concede as a result of propaganda, must seek to conquer Artsakh and not to start a war because of public position.
The opinions that generation change will soften the situation are wrong. On the contrary, it will intensify more, as unlike their predecessors, young generations in both countries have not accepted their opponent as anything less than an enemy and both generations stands out with their nationalistic mood. So they had better not rely on the possible peaceful disposition of the new generation.
Thus, war is inevitable and it is necessary to be prepared for it. But this is only one side of the problem, the other side is that the widespread thesis, that allegedly the existing situation is in favor of us is wrong. The blockade, illegitimate political regime, corruption, economic low indices and expanding Russian influence year after year make us weaker. It is necessary to overcome the given ”wall” situation not with the struggle of separate parties or with youth social movements but with political movements and with serious changes of political system. The experience showed that the existing political system is not capable of hard responses and consistent struggle. The system was not capable to bear full responsibility and it even stopped the counter-attack of our troops in the military situation. Because of a non-competent and indecisive policy it was not possible to gain any change in diplomatic field as well. April 2 was a perfect day for finally recognizing the independence of Artsakh, but all this possibilities were released.
It Must Be Destroyed
Not only will the war break out but it is necessary for us it to happen sooner than later. Only by just achieving final victory in the upcoming war we will be able to provide necessary vital conditions for the development of Armenia. Throughout history we have collided with more serious opponents and problems and we have been able to overcome them sooner or later. This also will not be an exception, it is just necessary to understand the role and significance of radical operations and aggression. The April war showed that people from all over the world make no distinction between the immediate parties of the conflict, but we are not equal. In this analysis we are not discussing historical and cultural heritages, we are discussing the energy of our society and recourses managed by Armenians from all over the world. The supreme tension and recruitment of pan-Armenian forces around the reliable and legitimate leader, will not only let us gain new and crushing victory, but will let us solve this Gordian knot. But essentially this equals sign equalizes the initiator of the military massive operations and defender.
Our aim must be the following pattern of borders of Armenian second Republic: in the East it should border with Kura River, in the Southeast should reach the coasts of Caspian Sea, and in the South should control the whole Azerbaijani – Iranian border. Azerbaijan must be destroyed in the East of Kura and separate dissolved state formations should be established instead. We must liberate the territory in the Southwest from Syunik and in the territory of Nakhichevan we must establish Armenian third Republic.
The implementation of this aim will lead to the salvation if not of all problems, but to the creation of necessary and sufficient precondition for the salvation of most of it. The above-mentioned may and must seem to be imaginary, all this is not a military operation plan, but totality of objectives. Objectives, which must be stored in each Armenian’s head, objectives, which will give an opportunity to move to a concrete direction. Maximalism is necessary for us at least in the purposeful – ideological field.
So, it is necessary to mention once more that the aim of this analysis was not to develop a scenario of implementation of military actions or give the formula of victory and/or to assure the reader that in case of war Armenia will win and moreover will win quickly.
This analysis pursued two main objectives.
- To show the inevitability of the future war and the dangers of its postponement. Whether we want or not the war will break out. And Churchill’s words characterize the given situation ”You were given the choice between war and dishonor, you chose dishonor and you will have war too”. Even with all possible concessions we will not abscond from war.
- This was an appeal of reason and mindset of our society, appeal to change mentality, appeal for maximalism and preparation.
Let’s return to our title. Caton was one of the cleverest man of his times, who did not suffer from bloodthirsty, he just understood, that the vital profits of Carthage and Roman countries are opposite, and that two countries can’t just exist simultaneously in the territory of Mediterranean Seav. The same problem exists in our case. The author is not bloodthirsty by nature and does not want a war, but understands that Azerbaijan will never refuse to seize Artsakh, moreover Azerbaijan, like Turkey, will never give up the idea of uniting with Turkey. Peace between our countries is not possible. Without capitulation of one of the sides, two countries and their societies are incompatible (bright example of this is the bilateral cruelty manifested during the April war and mutual antagonism between enemies), as it was mentioned, there is an opposition of vital profits in conflict, which can not be solved by making compromise.
Not only will the solution of the conflict create new and real ways for the development of Armenia, not only will it eliminate the existing main external obstacle of natural development of the republic i.e. our main opponent in the region, providing the security of countries’ borders, but it essentially will decrease, and some decades later it will absolutely eliminate our dependence upon ” strategical ally”. This will enable us to organize real economic and sociopolitical renaissance.
As a conclusion I should mention that furthermore Azerbaijan must be destroyed.
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- Тит Ливий, История от основания города.
i “Carthage must be destroyed” (Latin Carthago delenda est, Ceterum censeo Carthaginem delendam esse) – Latin idiom, which signified persistent and decisive fight appeal against enemy. Plutarch attributes these words to Cato the Elder (unyielding enemy of Carthage), who ended his speech with these words during any discussion in senate, regardless of its content. Carthage, the greatest adversary of Rome, was viewed by many representatives of the Roman political thought of the given time as the main obstacle for the natural development of Rome, and the end of the struggle was considered in the context of the complete destruction of any of the sides.
ii In general the term ”war” is not applicable in case of April events, as Artsakh war is not over yet and this was one of its current operations. We think that the most appropriate characterization is ”frontal active actions”.
iii Anwar Sadat, the president of Egypt said about ”Yom Kippur” war in 1973, that he didn’t need the whole Sinai peninsula (which the Israelis had occupied after winning a crushing victory during the previous war), he just needed a square kilometer from Sinai. This was reasoned by the apathetic sentiments existing in Egypt in connection with the defeat in the previous war, and evel a little success could embolden Egyptians.
iv Self-mobilization – the author uses this word to characterize the existing common self-willed mobilization in conditions of the absence of the officially announced mobilization.
v In order not to transgress justice it is necessary for us to mention, that there was geometrically opposite viewpoint in Rome in the same period of time, which Scipio the African embodied the best (the winner of Hannibal and the conqueror of Carthage) who according to tradition, crying on the ruins of Carthage conquered by him said that it was also the beginning of the fall of Rome, as losing his main opponent, Rome lost the main stimulus of development and progress too. But in our case the situation differs: now the principal opponent of Armenia is only Azerbaijan, in the future we will not have a need of those who can take its place, taking into consideration the peculiarities of our western neighbours: consequently the observation of Scipio point of view is irrelevant in this case.
Author: Areg Kochinyan © All rights are reserved.
Translator: Lusine Barkhoyan.