The California Courier Online, September 28, 2023

The California
Courier Online, September 28, 2023


1-         Artsakh is
Lost After Being Abandoned

            By Armenia, Russia and the West

            By Harut

The California


2-         After
Massive Onslaught, Artsakh Accepts Terms of Ceasefire,

to Azerbaijan

3-         Sen. Bob
Menendez, Nadine Arslanian Menendez indicted on bribery charges

4-         Armenian
Government Postpones Snoop Dogg Yerevan Concert

            amid Attack
on Arstakh




1-         Artsakh is
Lost After Being Abandoned

            By Armenia, Russia and the West

            By Harut

The California



Last week, Armenians worldwide experienced one of the
biggest tragedies of their lives after Azerbaijan occupied Artsakh.

120,000 Artsakh Armenians—men, women and children—were
attacked in their historic homeland by advanced weapons imported by oil-rich Azerbaijan from Israel,
Russia, Pakistan and Eastern Europe.

The main evil-doers are Azerbaijan
and its partner Turkey
which are guilty of committing mass crimes against the people of Artsakh.

However, there is plenty of blame to go around. I want to
start with the shameful role that Armenia’s Prime Minister has played
in this disaster. Starting from 2001, while Pashinyan was an unknown
journalist, he wrote in his Haykakan Jamanak newspaper that “through diplomacy,
it is not possible not to return these [Artsakh] territories to Azerbaijan….
Having abandoned our own lands, we are trying to be the owners of someone
else’s land.” After becoming Prime Minister, Pashinyan made numerous
contradictory statements regarding Artsakh, first stating emphatically that
“Artsakh is Armenia, that’s
it,” and then, “Artsakh is part of Azerbaijan.” While the words of a
journalist may not matter, his statements as Prime Minister cannot be
dismissed. Game over! Artsakh is lost and nothing is expected to change that reality
for a long time. As always, Pashinyan blames everyone else for his misdeeds,
including the former leaders, the domestic opposition, and Russia.

To make matters worse, Pashinyan washed his hands from
Artsakh and urged its leaders to sort out their differences with Azerbaijan.
Pashinyan basically threw 120,000 poorly-armed Artsakh Armenians to the big bad
Azeri wolf. How can tiny Artsakh negotiate with powerful Azerbaijan?
Pashinyan ignored the fact that since Artsakh Armenians are citizens of Armenia, it was
his constitutional duty to protect them. For months, he made the laughable
promise that the rights and security of Artsakh Armenians will be protected
after they become citizens of Azerbaijan.
Ridiculously, Pashinyan announced last week, a couple of hours before the UN
Security Council meeting, that the lives of Armenian civilians in Artsakh were
secure after Azerbaijan’s
attack. Shortly thereafter Armenia’s
Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan told the Security Council that Azerbaijan is
engaged in ethnic cleansing of Artsakh Armenians. Azerbaijan’s
Foreign Minister immediately pointed out to the UN the contradictory statements
by the two Armenian leaders, thus undermining Armenia’s credibility in front of
the whole world. In the meantime, hundreds of Artsakh Armenians were killed and
wounded, and thousands are missing as a result of Azerbaijan’s attack.

Last week, when Azerbaijan’s strong military invaded what
remained of Artsakh, Pashinyan announced that Armenia will not get involved in
the conflict, thus giving the green light to Azerbaijan to commit all sorts of
horrible crimes on the people of Artsakh. Pashinyan has held the mistaken
notion that once Artsakh is returned to Azerbaijan,
citizens of Armenia
will live in peace. Regrettably, this is the farthest thing from the truth. Azerbaijan’s President, seeing in front of him a
militarily weak Armenia
and a leader who has no idea what he is doing, will not stop after his conquest
of Artsakh. Aliyev will keep on demanding concessions from the weakling Pashinyan
and occupy more and more territories of the Republic of Armenia.
Aliyev has repeatedly and falsely claimed that all of Armenia is “Western
Azerbaijan.” Since the 2020 war, Azerbaijan’s
troops occupied portions of Armenia’s
territory and have no intention of leaving. My fear is that Aliyev will
continue making incursions into Armenia,
until he takes over the whole country. Therefore, Pashinyan’s premise that
Armenians in Armenia
will leave in peace after abandoning Artsakh is absurd.

President Ilham Aliyev quickly capitalized on Pashinyan’s capitulation and
repeatedly told the world that since Armenia’s
Prime Minister admitted that Artsakh is part of Azerbaijan, that region is his
country’s internal issue and no one has the right to intervene. Shortly
thereafter, Russia’s
leaders, including President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov,
repeatedly stated that Pashinyan is the one who relinquished Artsakh.

Nevertheless, Russia has its own share of guilt
for what has been taking place in the last three years, and what happened in
Artsakh last week. The Russian peacekeepers, who were mandated by the 2020
agreement to safeguard the population of Artsakh and keep the Lachin Corridor
open until 2025, failed miserably to carry out their responsibilities. Russia did not even try to protect the borders
of the Republic of Armenia, as required by the CSTO agreement signed
between Armenia, Russia and several other former Soviet Republics.
inaction and Pashinyan’s relinquishment of Artsakh resulted in the massive
human tragedy suffered by 120,000 Artsakh Armenians.

The international community is also guilty of ignoring the
suffering of Artsakh Armenians who lost their historic homeland after being
starved for nine months due to the blockade of the Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijan.
Other than saying a lot of useless words, no one in the world lifted a finger
to rescue these people and defend their rights. All international laws, human
rights, and notions of justice were a lot of hot air. Equally useless were the
UN Security Council, the International Court of Justice, European Court of
Human Rights, European Union, European Council, and statements by officials of
many countries, including the United
States. As we all know, might makes right.
Nothing else matters.

The top priority of Armenians worldwide now is seeking the
immediate ouster of Pashinyan, since he is refusing to resign and digging a
deeper hole for Armenia
with every passing day. Unless Pashinyan is replaced soon by a competent and
nationalistic Armenian who protects Armenia’s interests, Armenians may
end up losing their homeland, this time for good!

After Pashinyan is replaced, Armenia’s new leader has to put all
other issues aside and immediately acquire a massive amount of advanced weapons
to defend the country’s borders from further incursions.

After vainly hoping and waiting for thousands of years for a
foreign power to come and save Armenia,
it is high time that Armenians finally realize that no one will ever come to
rescue them. They need to save themselves!


2-         After Massive Onslaught,
Artsakh Accepts Terms of Ceasefire,

to Azerbaijan


(Combined Sources)—The 120,000 ethnic Armenians of the Republic of Artsakh
will leave as refugees to Armenia,
as they do not want to live as part of Azerbaijan and fear ethnic
cleansing, said Artsakh presidential advisor David Babayan on Sunday, September

“Our people don’t want to live as part of Azerbaijan.
Ninety-nine point nine percent prefer to leave our historic lands,” said
Babayan. “The fate of our people will go down in history as a disgrace and
shame for the Armenian people and for the whole civilized world. Those
responsible for our fate will one day have to answer to God for their sins.”

Babayan said that all those made homeless by the Azerbaijani
military operation and wanting to leave would be escorted to Armenia by Russian
peacekeepers—noting, however, that the Lachin Corridor “does not work as it
should,” he said. “At the present time, other questions need to be resolved.”

There are some 2,000 peacekeepers in the region, Russia said.

Karabakh Armenian rights would be respected as part of their
integration into Azerbaijan,
said Azerbaijan’s
Foreign Policy Advisor Hikmet Hajiyev, adding that they had requested
humanitarian support as well as oil and gasoline supplies.

Hajiyev indicated that humanitarian help would be delivered
to the region on Friday, September 22. More than 15 Russian aid trucks passed
through the Lachin Corridor on Friday, September 22 through Sunday, September

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that that Armenia was ready to take in Artsakh’s
refugees. In an address to the nation on Sunday, September 24, Pashinyan said
some humanitarian aid had arrived—but the Armenians in Artsakh still faced “the
danger of ethnic cleansing.” A reported 377 refugees from Artsakh had arrived
in Armenia
by Sunday, September 24. Space for 40,000 people from Artsakh has been prepared
in Armenia.
has said the Armenians can leave if they want.

This mass exodus has been widely seen as changing the
delicate balance of power in the South Caucasus region with its patchwork of
ethnicities and religions—crisscrossed with gold, iron and molybdenum mines,
along with oil and gas pipelines—where Russia,
the United States, Iran and Turkey are jousting for influence.

Artsakh was forced to concede to a Russian-brokered
ceasefire— whereby it would disband its armed forces and discuss its
“reintegration” into Azerbaijan—following
a lightning 24-hour military attack by Azerbaijan against Artsakh on
Tuesday, September 19.

said on Tuesday, September 19 that six of its citizens had been killed by land
mines in two separate incidents in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and blamed
“illegal Armenian armed groups” for laying the mines—using this incident as the
precursor for its attack against Artsakh that day.

At least 200 people were killed and more than 400 were
wounded in Artsakh as a result of the Azerbaijani attack, according to the
latest information released by Nagorno-Karabakh Human Rights Defender Gegham

The number of the wounded among the civilian population
exceeds 40, 13 of whom are children. There are 10 confirmed civilian deaths, 5
of whom are children.

Over 7,000 people from 16 villages among the Askeran,
Martakert, Martuni, Shushi regions in Artsakh had been evacuated after the
attack, according to Stepanyan.

On Wednesday, September 20, the Russian Defense Ministry
confirmed the deaths of several of its peacekeepers—among them Captain Ivan
Korgan, who not only held the position of deputy commander for the peacekeeping
force but also served as the deputy commander for Russia’s Northern submarine
fleet forces. The peacekeepers were returning from the Janyatag (Chankatah)
observation point when they came under gunfire from small arms.

The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense conveyed its condolences
regarding the peacekeepers’ tragic deaths and reported that both Azerbaijani
and Russian investigative authorities are actively looking into the incident.

Artsakh representatives and Azerbaijani officials started
talks on Thursday, September 21 on the region’s possible “reintegration” into Azerbaijan and
the Artsakh Armenians’ rights and security “within the framework of the
Azerbaijani constitution.” Their first meeting took place in the Azerbaijani
town of Yevlakh.

The Artsakh Defense Army on Friday, September 22 withdrew
from its positions as part the deal in Yevlakh by representatives from
Stepanakert and Baku.

Based on the agreement, Russian peacekeeping forces replaced
the Artsakh Defense Army at those positions.

A second round of talks took place in Shushi on Saturday,
September 23, where Artsakh officials said the ceasefire was being implemented
and aid had been arriving. Russia
announced on Sunday, September 24 that more than 800 small arms, anti-tank
weapons and portable air defense systems, as well as 22,000 ammunition rounds,
had been handed in by Saturday, September 23.

Meanwhile, the Armenian government distanced itself from the
truce accord, with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Sunday, September 24
blaming Russia for failing
to do enough for Armenia—which
he said would review its alliance with Moscow.

“Some of our partners are increasingly making efforts to
expose our security vulnerabilities, putting at risk not only our external, but
also internal, security and stability, while violating all norms of etiquette
and correctness in diplomatic and interstate relations, including obligations
assumed under treaties,” said Pashinyan.

Russian officials say Pashinyan is to blame for his own
mishandling of the crisis, and have repeatedly said that Armenia—which borders Turkey,
Iran, Azerbaijan and Georgia—has few other friends in
the region.

Amid renewed antigovernment protests in Yerevan (See article on page 1), Pashinyan on
Wednesday, September 20 had also flatly denied any involvement in the ceasefire

In address to the nation, he said Yerevan was “taking note” of the deal while
disagreeing with one of its provisions calling for the withdrawal of Armenian
troops from Karabakh. He insisted that Armenia has had no military
presence in the region since 2022—saying that the Russians had now fully
assumed an “obligation to ensure the security of the Armenians of

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday, September
19 expressed full support for Azerbaijan’s
military operation in Artsakh. “We support the steps taken by Azerbaijan—with
whom we act together with the motto of one nation, two states—to defend its
territorial integrity,” Erdogan said in an online statement.

Ankara supplied Azerbaijan with combat drones and other military
equipment that helped Baku
win back swathes of Artsakh in a short but brutal war three years ago.

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert
Menendez (D-NJ) on Thursday, September 21 called on the U.S. government
to hold Azeri president Ilham Aliyev accountable and provide immediate support
to Armenians in Artsakh. (On Friday, September 23, Menendez and his wife,
Nadine Arslanian Menendez were indicted on a number of charges including
bribery. Menendez stepped down as chair of the Foreign Relations Committee
until the case is resolved. See article on page 5.)

“Spoke with Secretary Blinken last night about my concerns
with Azerbaijan’s
troop buildup at the border & their continued aggression, which I warned
about during last week’s hearing. We must hold Aliyev accountable & provide
immediate support to Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh,” Menendez said in a post on
X (formerly known as Twitter).

On Sunday, September 24, President of France, Emmanuel
Macron made a statement about the ongoing ethnic cleansing in Artsakh: “Today, Russia supports Azerbaijan,
and Turkey, as Azerbaijan’s ally, while France stands
alongside the Armenian people and international law. We have always supported Armenia, and
they are aware of that. In recent days, we have witnessed a military operation
and unacceptable crimes committed by Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh. The
rights of ethnic Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh are being completely
violated. We will continue to provide humanitarian and political assistance in
the name of peace, which can only be achieved through negotiations.”

Pope Francis on Wednesday, September 20 appealed for arms to
fall silent and for nations to seek peaceful solutions in Nagorno Karabakh.

"Yesterday, I heard the disturbing news from Nagorno Karabakh,
in the Southern Caucasus, where the already
critical humanitarian situation is now aggravated by additional armed
clashes," said the Pope.

He urged involved parties to cease hostilities and seek
peaceful solutions to the crisis.

"I address my appeal again to all the parties involved
and to the International Community," said Pope Francis, "so that they
may stop using weapons and make every effort to find peaceful solutions for the
good of the people and respect for human dignity."

On Wednesday, September 20, Los Angeles City Council
President Paul Krekorian issued a statement about Artsakh, demanding the end to
aggression against Artsakh.

dictator launched another outrageous, unprovoked full-scale military attack
against the democratic Republic
of Artsakh. Azerbaijan’s forces are attacking Artsakh at
every point of contact, and are bombarding apartment buildings in the capital
city of Stepanakert,
yet again targeting the civilian population. Many casualties have already been
reported in the first hours of this attack, including the death of at least one
child and injuries to many more, and more will occur every minute if the
international community does not take immediate and effective action.

The United
States must lead the international community
in taking action immediately to interrupt this genocide before it is complete.
I am calling on the President of the United
States, as well as the member states of the United
Nations Security Council, to demonstrate their commitment to global stability,
to the law of nations, and to common decency by opposing Azerbaijan’s
genocidal aggression and coming to the aid of the people of Artsakh. That
immediate and unambiguous response should include: An explicit demand for an
immediate end to Azeri military actions in Artsakh, to be enforced by maximum
sanctions against the government in Baku; deployment of international
peacekeepers to thwart Aliyev’s expansionist military aggression and to ensure
that the Lachin Corridor remains open; Insistence that Azerbaijan allow safe
passage of delivery of aid into Artsakh via the Lachin Corridor; and Immediate
negotiations between Baku and Stepanakert to guarantee the rights and security
of the Armenian population of Artsakh.


3-         Sen. Bob Menendez, Nadine
Arslanian Menendez indicted on bribery charges


(Combined Sources)—Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and his wife,
Nadine Arslanian Menendez, were indicted Friday, September 22 by the U.S. attorney’s
office for the Southern District of New York.

The New Jersey
senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and his wife
each face three charges each including: conspiracy to commit bribery,
conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and conspiracy to commit extortion
under color of official right. The bribes the couple received included “cash, gold
bars, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job, a
luxury vehicle and other items of value,” the indictment alleges, using the
senator’s “power and influence” for their own enrichment and the benefit of

Prosecutors based a large portion of their case on Menendez
and on texts between the senator, his wife and their co-defendants— New Jersey businessmen Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes.
Federal agents said they discovered many of the items when they executed search
warrants in the couple’s home in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, in June 2022. They found more
than $480,000 in cash, “much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in
clothing, closets, and a safe,” including jackets bearing the senator’s name
that were hanging in his closet, as well as more than $70,000 in Nadine
Menendez’s safe deposit box, along with several gold bars, the indictment

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer confirmed in a
statement on September 22 that Menendez “has rightly decided to step down
temporarily” as chair of the Foreign Relations Committee until the matter is

Menendez has denied the allegations against him. “I have
been falsely accused before because I refused to back down to the powers that
be and the people of New Jersey
were able to see through the smoke and mirrors and recognize I was innocent,”
he said in a statement Friday.  Nadine
Menendez’s lawyer, David Schertler, said in a statement that she “denies any
wrongdoing and will defend vigorously against these allegations in court.”

In a 2020 “The Armenian Report” YouTube interview, Arslanian
said she fled Lebanon,
her birthplace, during the country’s civil war. She said she was born to
Armenian parents.

“During the Civil War, we fled Lebanon
to Greece to London and came to the United
States and stayed in Palo Alto,
Calif., for about seven months, and then moved
to New York,”
Arslanian said.

In the same “Armenian Report” interview, Arslanian said she
went to New York University (NYU) for undergraduate and graduate studies,
majoring in international politics and French culture and civilization. She
said she has a daughter who also attended NYU.

Menendez met Arslanian at an IHOP in Union City, N.J.,
in December 2018, according to The New York Times. Following their meeting, the
two explored the world together, going to four countries in five months. The
senator proposed to Arslanian in October 2019 at the Taj Mahal while on a visit
to India.
The couple wed in 2020.



4-         Armenian
Government Postpones Snoop Dogg Yerevan Concert

            amid Attack
on Arstakh


The Government of Armenia has postponed the Snoop Dogg
concert that was to be held under its auspices along with concert organizer
Doping Space, the company said in a statement on September 21.

“We strongly condemn Azerbaijan’s large-scale aggression
and grave atrocities against our compatriots on September 19. We offer our
condolences to the families of the victims and wish the injured a speedy
recovery,” said the statement.

“We sincerely apologize to all those who had purchased
tickets and were eagerly anticipating the concert," said the statement.

We would also like to assure you that details concerning
ticket management and the announcement of the new concert date will be coming
soon,” said the statement.



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