21st Century Wire says… The article we are republishing, was written in April 2016 and appears particularly prescient in the light of recent events in and surrounding Deir Ezzor and Raqqa in Syria. ‘It’s extremely doubtful to imagine that Arabs of any political disposition would rather live in a Kurdish-dominated statelet as second-class citizens than as equal ones within the Syrian Arab Republic, so the chances of the Kurds peacefully annexing Raqqa into their ‘federation’ via a plebiscite are close to nil. However, if the Arabs were forced out of their homes due to egregious war crimes by the US such as indiscriminate bombing and the widespread use of chemical weapons, then it becomes much easier to ‘hack the vote’ and create a public/international pretense of ‘legitimacy’. ~ Andrew Korybko for Global Village Space The aforementioned article is by Maram Susli for Global Research: ‘The following points present a few simple reasons why PYD/YPG claims to federal autonomy and attempts to annex Syrian land are illegitimate, undemocratic, and could lead to genocide’ 1. Kurds are not a majority in the Area PYD/YPG are attempting to annex The region of Al Hasakah, which the Kurdish Nationalist Party (PYD) and its military wing YPG have declared a federal Kurdish state, does not have a Kurdish majority. Al Hasakah Governorate is a mosaic of Assyrian Christians, Armenians, Turkmen, Kurds and Bedouin Arabs. Of the 1.5 million population of Al Hasakah, only 40% are ethnically Kurdish. Moreover, parts of Al Hasakah Governorate, such as Al Hasakah district, is less than 15% Kurdish (!). In the other large minorities in the area the Arabs and Assyrian Christians form a majority. Declaring a small area with a wide array of ethnic groups as belonging to a specific ethnic minority is a recipe for oppression.
Last April, violence erupted in a place known as Nagorno-Karabakh. If this doesn’t sound familiar, how about Armenia and Azerbaijan? No? Perhaps the furthest southwest corner of the former Soviet Union, just east of Eastern Turkey? OK, try this: the other side of the world? When hearing of this outbreak of violence and reading something of the history, it struck me that the situation offered a real-time opportunity to consider secession, decentralization and property rights; further, the issue of culture binding people together for purposes of defense and security. But I am getting ahead of myself – first some background about the place: Nagorno-Karabakh is a landlocked region in the South Caucasus, lying between Lower Karabakh and Zangezur and covering the southeastern range of the Lesser Caucasus mountains. The region is mostly mountainous and forested. It may be landlocked, mountainous and forested, but I don’t believe anyone will confuse it with Switzerland. Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but most of the region is governed by the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, a de facto independent nation established on the basis of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. Azerbaijan has not exercised political authority over the region since the advent of the Karabakh movement in 1988. Since the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994, representatives of the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group on the region’s disputed status.
This post was published at Lew Rockwell on December 3, 2016.
July 2016 – YEREVAN, Armenia – Clashes between riot police and supporters of gunmen from an opposition group barricaded inside a police station in Armenia’s capital left 75 people injured and more than 20 in custody on charges related to the unrest, officials said Saturday. The clashes broke out late Friday when several hundred people tried to approach the Yerevan police station, which is cordoned off by security forces and where there have been periodic exchanges of fire since the armed takeover. The police station was seized on July 17 by about 30 gunmen, who killed one officer and wounded several others in the attack. They are demanding freedom for an opposition figure arrested in June in the former Soviet republic. The opposition group they represent also has demanded that Armenia’s president and prime minister step down. Eight of the gunmen have been wounded since the takeover, including three shot in the legs on Friday, apparently by snipers. Police also used stun grenades to drive back the opposition supporters, some of whom threw stones at the rows of riot police blocking their path.
July 2016 – ARMENIA – A group of armed men have taken control of a police station in Armenia’s capital Yerevan, prompting rumors to spread on social media that a coup is under way against the government. Security services are negotiating with the men who have taken hostages and reportedly demanded the release of opposition leader and military commander Jirair Sefilian, who was arrested in June while campaigning for regime change. Pictures broadcast on Armenian television show a heavy police presence and armored personnel carriers at the scene which has been cordoned off while talks with the group continue.
Turkey recalled its ambassador in Berlin after German lawmakers approved a resolution declaring the World War I mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a genocide. Ambassador Huseyin Avni Karslioglu is expected to travel back to Turkey on Thursday, after the German Parliament declared the 1915-16 killings of some 1.5 million Armenians a deliberate act of ethnic cleansing. Germany’s ambassador to Turkey has also been summoned. Turkey has long rejected the label, saying there was no systematic killings of Christian Armenians and the death toll was much lower. The country has accepted some responsibility for the killings but said they do not constitute genocide. To date, 11 of the 28 European Union nations have recognized the killings as genocide.
While the two leaders from Armenia and Azerbaijan met this week and agreed to comply with the treaty set forth that ended their bloody six-year war back in 1994, both action on the ground along the Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) Line of Contact as well as the fierce information and propaganda war belie purported reaffirmations made by both nations’ top politicians. No one can take the Vienna talks seriously anymore between Armenia’s President Sargsyan and Azeri President Aliyev for the precise reason that moments after they were agreeing to uphold another ceasefire yet more Azeri gunfire, grenade launchers, and mortar fire were killing yet another Armenian soldier. In a similar copycat, tit for tat announcement, the Azeri Ministry of Defense claimed one of its own soldiers was also killed though unlike the Nagorno-Karabakh soldier whose name was identified, the alleged Azeri victim remained nameless. Meanwhile, the day before the Vienna meeting, the defense ministers from Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, three out of four of Armenia’s bordering neighbors, announced joint military exercises in preparation for war against their common enemy, the hated Christian neighbor they surround. Only Iran bordering Armenia to the south will not be practicing war games next spring with them, remaining sympathetically neutral to Armenia’s right to exist and self-determine its own fate.
America and Her Allies in the News by C. K. Michaelson of Some Assembly Required. On the world stage full of purported leaders who are dangerous fools, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoan has a special place. He charged the EU several billion dollars to let the EU force hundreds of thousands of terrified refugees into concentration camps in Anatolia, then upped the ante and said there would be no deal unless Turks were allowed visa-free travel throughout the EU. He also wants journalists who ‘disrespect him’ jailed, and comedians who make fun of him extradited to Ankara for appropriate punishment – a condition that Angela Merkel found reasonable. Meanwhile his troops are gunning down women and children (suspected of being Kurds) fleeing Syria as Erdoan pursues his genocidal war against the Kurds while trying to pretend that the slaughter of half a million or more Armenians a hundred years ago never happened. All with US President Obama – who has committed a few war crimes himself – pretends that the Armenians committed suicide…
Last Thursday US Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden met separately with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian while the South Caucasus adversaries attended a 50-nation nuclear summit in Washington boycotted by Russian President Vladimir Putin. But no sooner did Kerry pronounce ‘an ultimate resolution’ to the ongoing Azeri-Armenian dispute over the autonomous Nagorno-Karabakh (NG) enclave, while Aliyev was flying home the next day his Azerbaijani military was launching a major overnight offensive into the contested region marking the bloodiest fighting since Russia’s brokered truce that ended a three-year war back in 1994.
Watch this space. As 21WIRE reported earlier in the week in a detailed report by Andrew Korybko, the situation between Armenia and Azerbaijan is touch and go, and a number a major powers may be casting their lot in another episode of the grand chessboard in Eurasia…
Andrew Korybko Oriental Review The unprecedented upsurge in violence along the Line of Contact between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh has raised universal concern that a larger conflict might be brewing, with some analysts seeing it as an outgrowth of Turkey’s destabilizing anti-Russian policies over the past couple of months. As attractive as it may be to believe such that Azerbaijan is behaving as a total puppet of the West, such an explanation is only a superficial description of what is happening and importantly neglects to factor in Baku’s recent foreign policy pivot over the past year. It’s not to necessarily suggest that Russia’s CSTO ally Armenia is to blame for the latest ceasefire violations, but rather to raise the point that this unfolding series of militantly destabilizing events is actually a lot more complex than initially meets the eye, although the general conclusion that the US is reaping an intrinsic strategic benefit from all of this is clearly indisputable. Instead of beginning the research from a century ago and rehashing the dueling historic interpretations that both sides have over Nagorno-Karabakh, the article at hand begins at the present day and proceeds from the existing on-the-ground state of affairs after the 1994 ceasefire, whereby the disputed territory has de-facto been administered as its own unrecognized state with strong Armenian support in all sectors. There’s no attempt to advocate one side or denigrate the other, but rather to objectively understand the situation as it is and forecast its unfolding developments. In keeping with the task at hand, it’s essential that the point of analytical departure be an overview of Armenia and Azerbaijan’s latest geopolitical moves in the year preceding the latest clashes. Afterwards, it’s required that an analysis be given about the limits to Russia’s CSTO commitment to Armenia, which thus helps to put Russia’s active diplomatic moves into the appropriate perspective.
For a larger perspective on the news of the “Panama Papers”, you must be sure to listen to this week’s update from Batchelor and Cohen. Not only are the Panama Papers discussed in the context of The New Cold War, there are Cold War updates here as well…from developments on the ground in Syria and Ukraine to the potentially significant new front that has opened in the South Caucasus between Azerbaijan and Armenia. As always, please find some time to give this update a thorough listen. TF SOURCE
Heavy fighting between the armed forces of Azerbaijan and Armenia over the weekend has highlighted the unresolved disputes and chronic internal instability that still affect key strategic areas of Europe, even as the political and security focus has shifted to external threats. With the attention of E.U. leaders firmly fixed on Syria’s civil war, the refugee crisis and the menace posed by Islamist terrorism, the sudden eruption on Saturday of violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, an internationally unrecognised Armenian-dominated enclave inside Azerbaijan, has come as a nasty shock. Both sides reported intermittent clashes on Sunday after 30 soldiers and some civilians were reportedly killed on Saturday. Both accused the other of using heavy weapons, tanks and artillery, and of responsibility for starting the trouble. Serzh Sarkisian, Armenia’s president, said the clashes were the ‘largest-scale hostilities’ since a 1994 truce halted a war in which Armenian-backed fighters seized the territory from Azerbaijan.
The following video was published by X22Report on Apr 4, 2016 Poroshenko calls for OSCE police force in the SouthEastern section of Ukraine, this will most likely spark war. US Philippines launch massive naval drill in the South China Sea. US and Turkey now push a new agenda to destabilize Armenia & Azerbaijan. Assad does not trust the US because of the lies. Turkey launches new artillery strikes in Syria. US special forces and coalition troops filling the void of the IS. Cameron says ISIS will use drones to drop dirty bombs. Be prepared for a false flag.
‘Hagop Tchouroukian, an Armenian shopkeeper, lost his home when a homemade bomb struck two years ago, killing a woman and two children in his building in the Midan neighborhood. He has moved elsewhere but returns to the area every day to work in his shop. His 4-year-old twins play in the street, something that would not have been possible before the cease-fire, he said. Before the truce, two or three mortar shells fell every day. Now there have just been one or two in the past two weeks, he said.’ ~ Washington Post Perhaps more than any other region in Syria, Aleppo has been the hub of the NATO/US/Gulf media and NGO propaganda, intent on demonization of the Syrian Government and Syrian Arab Army. White Helmet central, Aleppo has been the concealed nest of Al Nusra operatives, overt or covert, disguised as the Syria Civil Defence, white helmeted ‘saviours of all Humanity’ provided the Humanity has no associations with the Syrian Government, Shia, Kurdish or Christian factions in or surrounding Aleppo. Since the Syrian Arab Army has advanced deeper into Al Nusra and ISIS territory uprooting the terrorist cells, the truth has revealed itself by degrees. Probably first to break the truth, was Stephen Kinzer of the Boston Globe: ‘COVERAGE OF the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the ancient city of Aleppo is the latest reason why.
February 2016 – TURKEY – Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans in the Middle East are becoming clearer. In a bid to exact revenge on Turkey and in an attempt to split the NATO alliance, Russia is rapidly building up pressure on NATO’s southern flank. The new Russian satellite state of Armenia on Turkey’s northeastern border is now hosting a massive Russian troop build-up with the recent signing of an air defense agreement between Russia and Kremlin. Along with the build-up of Russian air assets in Syria, Russia selling Iran billions in sophisticated weapon systems, and Russia’s support of Kurdish units along Turkey’s southern border, Mr. Putin has encircled Turkey in a classic pincer movement. Forbes writes, Make no mistake: The Russian military presence in Armenia represents a dagger pointed at the heart of NATO as the Armenia-Russian alliance strengthens. But while Moscow is rattling its sabers, Washington remains silent. Last August, The Moscow Times reported that President Putin told Turkey’s Ambassador to Moscow to ‘tell your dictator President he can go to hell along with his ISIS terrorists and I shall make Syria to nothing but a ‘Big Stalingrad.’ ‘ Histrionics aside, the intent is clear. Russia views Turkey as a hostile state and it will not back down.
December 2015 – TURKEY – Escalating tensions between Russia and Turkey have spread to the Caucasus, a volatile region where both powers have long contested each other’s influence. After Turkish jets shot down a Russian warplane that allegedly flew into Turkish airspace last week, a Cold War-style war of words erupted between Ankara and Moscow. Turkey has refused to apologize for the incident, while Russia has blocked sales of tourism packages to Turkey, imposed sanctions on Turkish fruits and vegetables, and accused Turkey of buying oil from the Islamic State. Now the two sides are squaring off over the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, two tiny former Soviet republics that have been at loggerheads since a six-year war over an ethnic Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan called Nagorno-Karabakh ended in 1994. ‘This is largely talk right now, but the problem is neither Turkey nor Russia really need war in the Caucasus,’ said Paul Stronski, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. ‘The situation between Armenia and Azerbaijan has been pretty dangerous already. It’s clear that things can easily get out of hand.’ Armenia, a Russian ally, now controls Nagorno-Karabakh. But most of the international community recognizes the enclave as part of Azerbaijan, a Turkish ally. Russia maintains a military base in Armenia, which experts say has had a stabilizing influence. ‘For 15 years, Russian support for Armenia has kept Azerbaijan from mounting another viable challenge to retake Nagorno-Karabakh,’ according to a recent analysis by the intelligence company Stratfor, which added that Azerbaijan has recently increased its cross-border raids and shootouts against Armenian forces.
Times are tough for America’s ‘color revolution’ industry. Perfected in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union, and honed during the so-called ‘Arab Spring,’ the process of backing subversion in a targeted country and overthrowing a sitting government under the cover of staged mass protests appears to be finally at the end of running its course. That is because the United States can no longer hide the fact that it is behind these protests and often, even hide their role in the armed elements that are brought in covertly to give targeted governments their final push out the door. Nations have learned to identify, expose, and resist this tactic, and like Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime’s tactic of Blitzkrieg or ‘lighting war,’ once appropriate countermeasures are found, the effectiveness of lighting fast, overwhelming force be it military or political, is rendered impotent. This was most recently observed in Armenia during the so-called ‘Electric Yerevan’ protests – Yerevan being the capital of Armenia, and ‘electric’ in reference to the alleged motivation of protesters – rising electric prices. American-backed ‘color revolutions’ always start out with a seemingly legitimate motivation, but soon quickly become political in nature, sidestepping many of the legitimate, practical demands first made, and focusing almost entirely on ‘regime change.’ For the Armenian agitators leading the ‘Electric Yerevan,’ they didn’t even make it that far and spent most of their initial momentum attempting to convince the world they were not just another US-backed mob.
21st Century Wire says… Here’s how history might one day look back on the west’s democracy rackets of the last 15 years: ‘In the early part of the 21st century, The Revolution Business really took off, as US-funded NGOs around the globe began to nibble away at the social and political foundations of countries all over the planet. Consultants and ‘agents of change’ were dispatched to places like Georgia, the Ukraine, Tunisia and Egypt. Their task was to help build two kinds of mobs – virtual mobs on Twitter, as well as street mobs. The best part about it was that you can actually make money off of other nation’s misery and social strife. For ambitious young social entrepreneurs, if you could ‘get in there’ with USAID, then you’d be in the chips, as it were. For hapless activists and their shrewd nation-wrecking bosses in Washington, it was a charmed life of endless globe-trotting, transatlantic social justice junkets and promoting democracyworldwide. Life couldn’t be better. It was all going swimmingly well, until the road show hit the wall in Armenia this month…’
Russia Rewards Armenia for Not Starting Another Maidan, Turkey’s Anti-China Propaganda Takes Its Toll on Uyghurs-Koreans & More! *The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U. S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players. The U. S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage across the entire country was widely celebrated in the U. S. and many other countries but not everyone welcomed the decision. Western media, which is more concerned about LGBT rights in Russia than in any other country, awaited eagerly how Russians would react to the ruling. The Washington Post was dumbfounded when influential journalist Dmitry Kiselyov and other prominent Russian figures didn’t react as expected but fortunately Western journalists still got the reaction they were looking for. What went largely unnoticed is that Russians are not the only ones who see the U. S. Supreme Court ruling as a “big mistake.” Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili assured his compatriots that he will do his best to prevent legalizing same-sex marriage in Georgia. This resonates with many people in his country. More and more Georgians are wondering whether Euro-Atlantic integration is really worth the trouble: Spurned by the West, Georgians look to Russia despite past quarrels In this fiercely pro-Western nation that fought a brief war with Russia in 2008, few thought the Kremlin could ever regain a toehold. But with the West backing away from Georgia’s path to E. U. and NATO membership after a year of conflict in Ukraine, pro-Russian sentiments are on the rise. ‘More and more Georgians are feeling they haven’t gotten anything tangible from the West,’ said Shorena Shaverdashvili, a prominent Georgian journalist. ‘There isn’t more love for Putin and Russia. It’s just a realization that we’re left face-to-face with Russia and we have to deal with it.’ ‘Georgia should be neutral, and it should be militarily free,’ said Archil Chkoidze, the leader of Georgia’s Eurasian Choice, a coalition of pro-Russian groups that says it has nearly 16,000 members. Among the warnings about Europe that he passes to his members, he said, was that E. U. leaders are more concerned with cultural issues such as gay rights – deeply unpopular in a socially conservative nation – rather than the everyday lives of Georgian citizens.