It's not hard for me to mesh my support for #Armenia in the #Nagornokarabakh conflict with being a western-raised and trained #Humanrights lawyer. The short answer is that I wish to stop #EthnicCleansing. The long answer is below. (1/14)
First, I reject that neutrality is the "proper" response. Neutrality is appropriate when one is ignorant. But choosing to remain in ignorance isn't praiseworthy. It is more intellectually honest to learn and draw a conclusion. (2/14)
This article shows how one can have a thoughtful "both sides" discussion instead of the thoughtless one we typically see from int'l media and orgs. (3/14)
Second, I acknowledge that I'm (half) Armenian. That doesn't mean I'm inherently biased. International courts allow judges to judge their home country because people can be impartial even towards their own in-group. (4/14)
Now my main goal: I am first and foremost an advocate for #NKPeace. I want a Caucasus without violence. I want #Armenians and #Azerbaijanis to live like neighbors as they did for most of their history. This is my #1 goal (5/14)
To achieve #NKPeace, we will need real negotiations with concessions from both sides. Each side will need to acknowledge and atone for the legitimate grievances of the other (e.g. the #Sumgait pogrom or the #Khojaly massacre). (6/14)
As difficult as those peace negotiations will be, we're not even close to getting there due to inter-ethnic hate. Hate is what makes peaceful co-existence in #Nagornokarabakh currently impossible. (7/14)
And that's the crux with the current fighting. If peaceful co-existence is currently impossible, what would happen if #Azerbaijan wins the fighting? #Armenians will be forced out, one way or another, including the Armenians who have lived there for 1000s of years. (8/14)
To make my case of hate that makes co-existence impossible, I'm focusing on the hate from #Azerbaijan. Note that I'm _not_ trying to pretend there isn't hate on the Armenian side. It's also a deadly serious problem. It's just not relevant for this discussion. (9/14)
Exhibit A: Statements from officials. #Aliyev said in 2012 " #Armenia as a country is of no value. It is actually a colony, an outpost run from abroad, a territory artificially created on ancient Azerbaijani lands." Likewise, see attached (the high-water mark of hate). (10/14)
Exhibit B: Glorifying a murderer. To summarize: Ramil Safarov murdered a sleeping Armenian in Hungary. He was sentenced to prison but extradited to #Azerbaijan, where he was pardoned, promoted and made into a national hero.'s_welcome_in_Azerbaijan (11/14)
These examples illustrate an underlying level of hate, which would make life in #Nagornokarabakh/ #Artsakh unlivable for the ethnic Armenians who have lived there for generations. Deprivation and #EthnicCleansing would be exceedingly likely (but, IMO, not #genocide). (13/14)
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