Erkin Gadirli has made a controversial statement but I think at this stage his critics have lost all sense of proportion. The reaction from hippies and liberals was predictable. These people would give Karabakh and all other Azerbaijani lands away if only they had a chance – the Aylisli effect.
The epitome of “the pretentious-grandstanding-empty-talking-whilst-doing-absolutely-nothing- useful” liberal is, of course, that hipster-in-chief, “blogger” Ali Novruzov. Fresh from defaming and libelling me, he decided to have a go at Erkin. Ali should stick to issues he knows about and has normally been concerned with, for example what kind of sandals to wear today; the rights of Azerbaijani men to wear shorts; promoting secular fundamentalism etc. Ali and his ilk should leave politics to adults.
Far more worrying was an accusation made against Erkin by former US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richad Kauzlarich. Erkin’s call for destruction of suspected Armenian war criminals was described by Kauzlarich as “pure terrorism” in a Facebook comment. This, coming from a former US diplomat, is hilarious. Someone needs to remind Mr Kauzlarich of his own country’s behaviour since 9/11. What Erkin had called for is known in the business as “extra-judicial execution” – the United States had created the precedent for this and continues to use this method across the globe with impunity. Torture, by the way (thanks to Pentagon and CIA) is now known as “enhanced interrogation technique”. If you can’t use such techniques at home you can always organise “rendition flights” to take suspects to countries where they don’t have such qualms. Ultimately if you don’t have evidence against someone and consider him to be your enemy, then just imprison him on an island off-shore…
Mr Kauzlarich needs to understand that until his country starts practicing what it preaches, his words are going to fall on deaf ears, and generate nothing more than general irritation at American/Western hypocrisy… Let’s continue this conversation when Guantanamo is finally closed. And it would be great to hear the United States just once unequivocally condemn Armenian war crimes at Khojali and elsewhere. Instead, Azerbaijan’s so-called “strategic partner” continues to apply sanctions against Azerbaijan (the 907 amendment to the Freedom Support Act) and provides aid to the occupation regime in Karabakh – American aid to people who ethnically cleansed our land. The Aliyev regime is too weak to stand up to the US on these issues.
My disagreement with Erkin is primarily tactical. I agree in principle that all those war criminals with Azerbaijani blood on their hands must be brought to justice. I disagree with Erkin that extra judicial execution is the best way. Revenge is for the weak. Justice must be vocal, it must be loud, it must be done but it also must be SEEN to be done. That is why we must seek a legal and political way of dispensing justice. Whilst I and Erkin disagree on tactics our common principles stand:
– war criminals who took part in ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijani lands must be brought to justice (regardless of who they are and which position they currently occupy);
– Azerbaijani territorial integrity in general and sovereignty over Nagorno Karabakh specifically are not subject to concessions;
– Azerbaijani democratic opposition movement must remain in the mainstream of Azerbaijani public opinion; that a small but extremely vocal ultra-liberal minority in our ranks is beginning to marginalise and discredit the whole movement is a cause for concern and needs to be addressed.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Meydan TV’s editorial policy.