BAKU: Azeri MP defends prominent writer’s stance on Karabakh

Azeri MP defends prominent writer’s stance on Karabakh

Ekho, Baku
26 Jun 04

An Azerbaijani pro-government MP has defended writer Rustam
Ibrahimbayov’s stance on the Nagornyy Karabakh problem. In his open
letter to the writer in the Azerbaijani newspaper Ekho, Anar
Mammadxanov blamed “false patriots”, who have criticized
Ibrahimbayov’s recent interview on Karabakh with the foreign media, of
uncivilized methods of struggle and accused them of abysmal ignorance
and treason. The following is the text of MP Anar Mammadxanov’s report
by Azerbaijani newspaper Ekho on 26 June headlined “A letter to Rustam

Falling out with “false patriots”

So finally they have set about you too, Rustam Ibrahimbayov! You too
are blamed for all the troubles of our nation. You too have fallen out
of favour with our false patriots. You too, just like Anar, Aziza
Mustafazada and many other representatives of the Azerbaijani cultural
elite not so long ago, became a subject of, to be polite, accusations
or even attacks, and of, excuse me for the expression, persecution, if
we speak otherwise.

Rustam Ibragimovich, let us remember what we everybody said in 1988:
“Who are the Armenians? One warning shot in the air is enough for them
to run away.”

Did they run away?

You, for example, said that the Armenians are talented. And I am
certain that you said this after thoroughly thinking it all
through. Because if the Armenians are talentless and obtuse, then who
are we, who have lost to them, albeit temporarily?

I understand you very well when you try to make our flag-wavers
understand that an information war has its rules as well and that
everyone plays his or her role in it. And every role depends on who
plays it to boot.

For example, everyone knows well that, when a criminal is
interrogated, the method of “good” and “bad” investigator is used. It
is obvious even from the point of view of the foundations of
psychology: the interrogated person rejects the “bad” one for his
anger and aggression and leans towards the “good” one for his kindness
and understanding and, as a result, is willing to make a full
confession to him in order to spite the “bad” one. And it will not
occur to anyone to accuse the “good” investigator of being too lenient
with the criminal because everyone understands that this is part of
the game.

A game to score into our own goal

But how should you explain this to your own compatriots, who regard
the Karabakh problem as a game to score into our own goal, rather than
the opponent’s?

No-one even wants to read your interview carefully. Meanwhile, there
is a very interesting phrase in it: “And even if the Armenian side
manages to prove that historically, politically and so on these lands
should be separated from Azerbaijan, dealing with this problem in the
20th and 21st centuries by using a method of armed annexation is, in
my opinion, a crime against the entire humanity.”

In other words, you effectively accused the Armenians of a crime
against humanity, but no-one wants to take note of this in our
country! As for the Armenians, they, as experienced soldiers of the
information front, noticed your statement, understood it and published
an angry rebuff in the 27 May 2004 issue of the official presidential
newspaper Voice of Armenia, in which they, in passing, also alleged
that, in fact, it was not you who wrote the script of the movie “The
White Sun of the Desert”!

In other part of the interview, you, as a master of eloquence, used
another method, which is described in manuals for waging information
wars – “to cause confusion in the enemy camp by all means”. The
opinion that you expressed, that the Armenians used to live well in
Baku and might now live even better, will certainly not be refuted
and, just as certainly, will evoke not the best feelings and
reminiscences in the souls of the Armenians from Baku, and from
Azerbaijan in general, towards their countrymen who incited the
Karabakh conflict.

Culture and urbanity

But how should this be explained to our side, Rustam Ibragimovich?

You are being accused of saying that the city is in the hands of
people who come from villages. I cannot understand: are you being
accused of saying this or of distorting something? Frankly speaking, I
personally cannot see anything wrong in the fact that the city is in
the hands of people from villages. Quite on the contrary, the
villagers, who are closer to the country, are more prone to
development than the elite and refined stratum of the city (read
Bakuvian) subculture, which has been and is stewing in its own juice,
and during the beginning of the period of both the Karabakh conflict
and national liberation movement, isolated itself from everything and,
first and foremost, from the people, having failed to have their
say. Besides, the country people, who are the main bearers of national
culture, very quickly accustomed themselves to the amenities of the
city life. And culture and urbanity is much better than just urbanity.

I do not understand, therefore, why these words caused this
reaction. And why the collocation “villagers” is an insult.

I encountered an interesting phrase recently: tigers respect lions,
elephants and hippopotami, whereas cockroaches do not respect
anyone. The same here, you deal with the people who can insult, brand,
accuse someone of treason and so on and get away with it. On the one
hand, it is unbecoming to respond to these, but if you do not, they
become even cheekier.

Abysmal ignorance and treason

In addition, it is impossible to explain to them that a writer of
world renown cannot yell “Death to the Armenians!” even if he wants
to, for if he does, he will be ostracized no matter what. If someone
wants Rustam Ibrahimbayov to be ostracized, then no-one should curse
their fate when some Armenian replaces Ibrahimbayov.

I remember how movie actor Armen Dzhigarkhanyan openly and squarely
said in the “Kinoserpantin” TV show in 1992 that the Armenians of
Nagornyy Karabakh lived very well and that they have to blame
themselves for everything that happened. Do you think that it occurred
to any Armenian journalist to call him a traitor? Right, it did not!
Because it does not matter to them what Dzhigarkhanyan says, what is
important for them is the fact that they simply have Dzhigarkhanyan
whom they can be proud of and whose greatness as an Armenian they can
show off. And the same French singer of Armenian origin Charles
Aznavour has also never said anything negative about us. He simply
works and is being useful. He works and is being useful.

What is better – the Azerbaijani team which beats Yerevan at KVN TV
game , or “Guys from Baku” name of the Azerbaijani KVN team who appear
on the stage to physically bash the Armenian KVN players? What is
better – Teymur Racabov, who beats Garri Kasparov at chess, or Teymur
Racabov who gives the best chess player in the world a slap in the
face before the game? And finally, what is better – Rustam
Ibrahimbayov who is known and read all over the world, or Rustam
Ibrahimbayov who is a rabid chauvinist?

To accuse of treason the only Azeri who was awarded an Oscar, the only
Azeri who is a member of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts
and Sciences and one of the Azeris who are known and respected around
the world is a sign of abysmal ignorance at the very least, and in
other words, it is an instance of treason.