Fwd: The California Courier Online, June 8, 2023

The California
Courier Online, June 8, 2023


1-         Advice to
Aliyev: Continue

            Destroying Azerbaijan’s

            By Harut

The California



2-         PM Nikol
Pashinyan Attends Inauguration Ceremony

            of Turkish
President Erdogan

3-         Commentary:

            ‘At Least
They Know’: Memorial Day for America,

            Years of
Mourning for Armenia

4-         Smithsonian
Trustee Amanda Quinn Olivar

Archives of American Art Event



1-         Advice to
Aliyev: Continue

            Destroying Azerbaijan’s

            By Harut

            Publisher, The California Courier



Even though Azerbaijan,
with the help of Turkish and Israeli weapons and hired Islamic terrorists, won
the 2020 Artsakh War, Pres. Aliyev has been destroying his country’s international

With his barbaric actions during and since the war, Aliyev
has undermined the interests of Azerbaijan.
As a result, he has made himself a hated pariah and the laughing stock of the
entire world. While Russia
is cuddling him for its own political interests, the West is tolerating him to
benefit from Azerbaijan’s
oil and gas.

I am very pleased that Aliyev is doing so many negative
things in the eyes of not only Armenians, but also the entire world.

There are many examples of Aliyev’s misdeeds. Here are some
of them:

During the 2020 war, Azeri soldiers committed barbaric acts
that violate the international law, such as: beheading captured Armenian
soldiers and civilians, mutilating their bodies, torturing them, trying the
captives in court and sentencing them to lengthy jail terms.

In violation of international conventions, Azerbaijan used
banned cluster and phosphorous bombs to kill Armenian soldiers during the 2020

systematically destroyed and defaced hundreds of Armenian cultural monuments
and desecrated dozens of Armenian churches in Artsakh in violation of the Hague
Convention on “the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed

continues to violate the ceasefire agreement signed by Pashinyan, Aliyev and
Putin at the end of the 2020 war. Here are some examples: Not releasing many of
the Armenian Prisoners of War, shooting at civilians in Artsakh, occupying
parts of the territory of the Republic
of Armenia, taking new Armenian
hostages, and threatening Armenia
and Artsakh with further attacks if they do not comply with Azerbaijan’s

Aliyev has dehumanized and demonized Armenians by describing
them with vile adjectives, such as “leeches” and “wild animals.” In 2005,
during the visit of a German delegation, the Mayor of Baku, Hajibala
Abutalybov, shamelessly told them: “Our goal is the complete elimination of
Armenians. You, Nazis, already eliminated the Jews in the 1930s and 1940s,
right? You should be able to understand us.”

Aliyev dispatched dozens of fake eco-activists to block the
Lachin Corridor during the last six months, depriving 120,000 Artsakhtsis of
food and medicines. These so-called eco-activists were more like
eco-terrorists. Azerbaijan
then placed a checkpoint at the Lachin Corridor further violating the 2020

In addition, Azerbaijan
periodically cuts off the Internet and electricity of the Artsakh population,
keeping them isolated, in the dark and without heat in freezing temperatures.

Instead of a simple transit road, Azerbaijan
repeatedly demands a corridor to cross from eastern Azerbaijan
to Nakhichevan, which implies Azeri sovereignty over Armenia’s territory, in violation
of 2020 agreement. By insisting on the Corridor, Aliyev is actually delaying Azerbaijan’s access to Nakhichevan through Armenia.

Aliyev declares that all of the territory of the Republic of Armenia
is ‘Western Azerbaijan.’ This is sheer
nonsense. Whereas Artsakh and Armenia
are thousands of years old, Azerbaijan
did not exist until a century ago.

Aliyev made the ridiculous pledge that Artsakhtsis will live
under Azerbaijani rule just like all of its other citizens who are also
repressed. Artsakhtsis remember well their barbaric mistreatment by Azerbaijan.
Blockading them now shows how much worse they will be treated in the future.

Aliyev repeatedly urges Armenia
to sign a peace treaty with Azerbaijan.
Any treaty signed by Azerbaijan
is a meaningless piece of paper as we see from Aliyev’s violations of the 2020

To make matters worse, State Dept. spokesman Matthew Miller
welcomed Aliyev’s outrageous statement that he will give amnesty to all Artsakh
officials who resign. Instead, Miller should have condemned Aliyev’s
unacceptable threats to invade Armenia
and Artsakh.

Aliyev dismissed the demands of scores of world leaders and
international organizations as well as the UN Security Council, the World Court and
European Court of Human Rights to release the Armenian POWs and unblock the
Lachin Corridor.

After the 2020 war, Azerbaijan
established a racist Military Trophies Park
in Baku,
displaying wax models of Armenian soldiers with hooked noses and distorted
faces. After complaints and condemnations by the international community, the
exhibit was closed down.

In February 2004, an Azeri soldier, Ramil Safarov, used an
axe to chop the head of a sleeping Armenian soldier in Hungary during
a NATO program. In return for Azerbaijan
loaning Hungary several
billion dollars, Safarov was released prematurely with the understanding that
he will serve the rest of his life sentence in a Baku jail. However, Aliyev welcomed Safarov
as a national hero, pardoned him, promoted him to the rank of major, and gave
him a free apartment and eight years of back pay. This is Azerbaijan’s
compensation to Safarov for committing a cold blooded murder.

As a result of all these war crimes, Aliyev has destroyed
his and Azerbaijan’s
reputation around the world. He should be arrested and tried by the
International Criminal Court as a war criminal.

Despite Aliyev’s reprehensible actions, world powers keep
closing their eyes ignoring his many crimes, blinded by Azerbaijan’s
oil and gas.


2-         PM Nikol Pashinyan Attends
Inauguration Ceremony

            of Turkish
President Erdogan


Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended the inauguration ceremony of Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday, June 3 in Ankara, the government announced. This is the
first time Armenia’s
top leader has attended an inauguration of a Turkish president. In 2014, Armenia’s then foreign minister, Edward
Nalbandian, represented Armenia
at Erdogan’s first inauguration as president.

Pashinyan was welcomed at the airport by Ambassador Serdar
Kilic, Turkey’s special
envoy for normalization with Armenia.
Later, Pashinyan was welcomed by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu at
the presidential complex.

Pashinyan was photographed warmly embracing Erdogan and
exchanging laughs with Azerbaijan’s
leader Ilham Aliyev.

“The Republic
of Armenia has received
an invitation to take part in Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s
swearing-in ceremony,” said the Armenian government’s press office in advance
of the inauguration. “Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will leave for Ankara on June 3 to take
part in the ceremony.”

The short statement did not specify whether the invitation
was personally addressed to Pashinyan.

The prime minister was accompanied on this trip by Ruben
Rubinyan, Armenia’s
special envoy for normalization.

President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan was among the some 20
leaders from countries around the world who attended the ceremony.

According to government sources a meeting between Pashinyan
and Aliyev did not take place.

Erdogan and Pashinyan met in October in Prague on the margins of a European summit.


3-         Commentary:

            ‘At Least
They Know’: Memorial Day for America,

            Years of
Mourning for Armenia


            By Varoujan
Der Simonian


“At least they know…” said the caller, tears in her voice
toward the end of our conversation. 

A Fresno
resident called me to share her grief at finding her nephew, David
Hampartsumyans, late Friday afternoon on Memorial Day weekend. David has been a
Prisoner of War (POW) in Baku,
since September 2020. He was seen as a captive on Azeri TV news shortly after.
But since then, his whereabouts remain unknown.

David is one of some 120 POWs held in Azerbaijan since the end of the unprovoked war
on Armenia.
Armed with the latest military drone technologies, and using cluster and
phosphorus bombs, aided by several other nations, including Turkey and ISIS,
Azerbaijan attacked Armenia, causing over 4,000 death and 7,000 severely
wounded (or amputated) service members.

My thoughts over the weekend were with soldiers missing in

On Memorial Day, we honor and mourn military personnel who
have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. We express gratitude
and profound respect for every soldier who fought to protect and sustain our
freedom and way of life. We lower our nation’s flag and place hundreds of
thousands on gravesites at cemeteries nationwide. The flags represent the
spirits of the soldiers who have sacrificed for our country, resurrected for a
day, reminding us that our freedom is their legacy. 

It is a moving scene to observe a mourning person in front
of the gravesite of their loved one, musing or even touching the cold
tombstone—a private and solemn moment connecting the spirits, memories, and
feelings of a living and deceased individual. When all is quiet, the two remain

Recently I witnessed such trauma at the Yeraplur Veterans
Cemetery in Armenia.

William Saroyan, Fresno’s
most famous native son, himself a WW II Veteran, once wrote: “I cannot see the
war as historians see it. There is no such thing as a soldier. I see death as a
private event, the destruction of the universe in the brain and the sense of
one man, and I cannot see any man’s death as a contributing factor in the
success or failure of a military campaign.”

“At least they know…” keeps ringing in my ears.

Knowing that your loved one has made the ultimate sacrifice
is one thing, but it is an agonizing grievance if your soldier is a POW and
their whereabouts are unknown. You have no news from them. You do not know if
they are being tortured, alive, or dead. You do not know to mourn or anticipate
that one day they will be set free.

During the past two years, David’s aunt and I had several
conversations. Her efforts with the highest levels of the Armenian Government
have been to no avail. In the fall of 2022, her Representative, Coney Conway
(redistricted to Tom McClintock), wrote a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken
urging the Secretary to interfere with the Azeri authorities. The Department of
State has yet to reply.

Washington, Brussels, and Moscow
holding a peace banner for the region, are catering to the Turkish and Azeri
interests for oil and natural gas flow to Europe.

They are courting the Prime Minister of Armenia to give up
the democratically governed historically Armenian province
of Artsakh, instead, placing it under
the autocratic regime of Azerbaijan,
which since December of last year imposed a total blockade on 120,000 Armenians
of Artsakh—not allowing movement of people in and out of the area. None of them
has raised the fundamental issue of POWs. 

What type of peace are we discussing when the so-called
power centers cannot even get the Azeries to release the POWs held in
captivity, violating international law?

Varoujan Der Simonian is the Director of the Armenian Museum
Museum of Fresno.



4-         Smithsonian
Trustee Amanda Quinn Olivar

Archives of American Art Event


Amanda Quinn Olivar, who serves on the Board of Trustees at
the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, hosted the research center on May
21 to celebrate the appointment of its new director Anne Helmreich.

The event was held at the home of Amanda’s twin sister
Jennifer Quinn Gowey and brother-in-law Eric Gowey. The Beverly Hills home was featured in David
Hockney’s 1968 painting “American Collectors” (Fred and Marcia Weisman) that is
part of the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago. Approximately 100
people were in attendance, including Amanda and Jennifer’s mother – renowned
art collector and patron Joan Agajanian Quinn – as well as many Los
Angeles-based artists such as Chaz Bojórquez, Woods Davy, Laddie John Dill,
Shepard Fairey, Jim Ganzer, Yolanda Gonzalez, Alex Hedison (the spouse of
actress Jodie Foster and daughter of late Armenian-American performer David
Hedison), George Herms, Charles Hill, Pamela Smith Hudson, Andy Moses, Claudia
Parducci, Astrid Preston, Joey Terrill, and Elyn Zimmerman..

“The Archives of American Art has answers to vital questions
about why art and artists matter,” said Helmreich. “Our collections contain
profound stories that will help future generations understand who we are and
how we got here. As we look to the future, the Archives will continue to
collect to reflect the breadth of the American experience and to develop
innovative programming that connects with new audiences, powering future

“It was a privilege to welcome friends and family into my
sister’s home to introduce our new director Anne Helmreich and to celebrate all
the great work the Archives of American Art does in preserving artist’s stories
in their own voices! I’ve been involved with the Archives for a few years. It
means so much to me and has always been essential for my own research. The
Archives is an outstanding resource, and I can’t wait for everyone to tap into
what we have to offer,” said Olivar.

Helmreich is a widely published art historian,
administrator, and educator. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, she served as
associate director of grants programming at the Getty Foundation, supporting
individuals and institutions committed to advancing the greater understanding
and preservation of visual arts in Los Angles and throughout the world, and
previously as associate director of digital initiatives at the Getty Research
Institute, both part of the J. Paul Getty Trust. Helmereich also brings her
experience as a former dean, director of an interdisciplinary humanities
center, and art history professor to further the mission of the Archives of
American Art.

The Smithsonian Archives of American Art collects,
preserves, and makes available primary sources documenting the history of the
visual arts in the United

The Archives holds the papers of American art luminaries
such as the Leo Castelli Gallery, Roy DeForest, Stanley and Elyse Grinstein,
Frederick Hammersley, Nancy Holt, Rockwell Kent, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Roy
Lichtenstein, Chiura Obata, Jackson Pollock, Leon Polk Smith, Robert Smithson,
Alma Thomas, and Gloria Vanderbilt Whitney. The Archives of American Art is
based in Washington, D.C.
and has an office in New York, N.Y.
Matthew Simms serves as the Gerald Bente Buck West Coast Collector for the
Archives and is based in Long Beach,
California. The Archives holds
its annual gala in New York,
N.Y. where it presents the
Archives of American Art Medal to an artist and a philanthropist and the
Lawrence A. Fleischman Award for Scholarly Excellence to an art historian. Both
awards recognize individuals who have made transformative contributions in the
field of American art.



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