Armenia, nil points

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Octavious
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Armenia, nil points

#1 Post by Octavious » Wed Sep 30, 2020 11:12 am

So the Caucuses are hotting up again, with Armenia and Azerbaijan engaging in their favourite pass time of shooting at each other. Once again its concerning a small handful of grim mountainous acres inhabited mostly by goats and a few thousand Armenians who, through no fault of their own, woke up one morning to discover that Stalin had rather rudely decided that their homes were in Azerbaijan and not Armenia as they'd always assumed.

Turkey, where exterminating Armenians is considered to be something of a national sport, has thrown its full support behind the Azerbaijani efforts to enforce their right to the land given to them by the old Boss. Armenia has traditionally relied upon its military superiority (which has ebbed away somewhat while they weren't paying attention), Russian generosity (oh dear) , and Christian fellowship (ha!) to guarantee their fellow Armenians over the border the right to self determination.

Can something be done? Should something be done? And is there any correlation between these flare ups and US electoral navel gazing?

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Re: Armenia, nil points

#2 Post by yavuzovic » Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:33 pm

Land belongs to the people living on it. So I wish Azerbaijan left the Armenians' lands. I support Armenia's case (strange thing, I saw nobody else in Turkey, yet it's not a national sport as Octavious said) to take its lands back but I don't know why Armenia did such a thing. Azerbaijan invaded some more villages and the war will obviously be bad for Armenia. Did they expect Europe's support? Did they expect a good result? To me it looks like a poor decision and Armenia will only get more hatred for the civilians they killed, yes they shot a city with civilians killing 1 and injuring more.
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Re: Armenia, nil points

#3 Post by Octavious » Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:36 pm

You believe that Armenia started it?

It is a very strange situation. Armenia seems to have launched a heavy artillery bombardment at dawn on the 27th of September, which on the face of it seems like the opening act. It is remarkable, however, just how quickly Azerbaijan were able to respond with an substantial amount of force. Their army was there in numbers and very much ready to act.

If I was to place a bet I would say that Azerbaijan were poised to make a more to reestablish themselves as the controlling power in Nagorno-Karabakh. That they have been emboldened to try it now by Armenia's relative decline as a military power, EU weakness in foreign affairs, US electoral navel gazing, and a more robust Turkish support. Armenia saw Azerbaijan manoeuvring into position, realised that if allowed to act first then it would be a fait accompli, and took the only option other than withdrawal left open to them. Strike first to disrupt Azerbaijan and draw a line in the sand, and hope like hell they can hold off an Azerbaijan victory long enough for the rest of the world to notice that something's going on and try to stop it.

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Re: Armenia, nil points

#4 Post by yavuzovic » Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:25 pm

Maybe you are right. Do you think that Armenia will be backed? You claim that it's because US is busy with it's own problems but I kind of disagree. Even if the elections change the head of the government, countries are led by systems that aren't chosen by elections. The state of US would defend it's interests in the region if they thought they needed. Same for EU, we see that France can interfere Libya, why would it be different for Karabakh-Nagorno? I believe it's only because Russia supports Armenia and the west doesn't want to give them a hand. Maybe they even try to let Turkey do what it wants so it will come closer to the west than Russia.

Do you have a proof for what you claimed about who started the current conflict? It makes sense but I will stick what I see. These two countries were already prepared for a military conflict and I don't think it's a coincidence Azerbaijan responded quickly.

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Re: Armenia, nil points

#5 Post by Octavious » Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:12 pm

No proof to speak of, and I'm not going to pretend it's the only explanation. It's just the only narrative I can think of that makes sense. Otherwise Armenia seems to be trying to start a war it doesn't seem to be able to win, and certainly can't profit from. I would be happy to hear alternative narratives if any come to mind.

The US defends its interests when its interests are clear. When its not clear it needs its leaders to take a strong political steer, and Turkey's NATO membership muddies the water a hell of a lot. Add Armenia's traditional friendship with Russia, as you say, and you have an awful lot of murk. Even if it wasn't murky, in Trump you have the least warlike American President for a hell of a long time, and should Biden win there will be a lot of pressure on him not to start his presidency with another potentially difficult foreign adventure.

The EU, in terms of foreign policy, has always been a mess. Mark Eyskens was pretty much bang on when he called it an economic giant, political dwarf, and military worm. Losing the UK military and its failure to have any decisive influence in the Ukraine has only underlined this.

In all honesty I think the likelihood is that Azerbaijan will get what they want. Armenia's only hope is for Russia to back them, and Russia doesn't seem particularly keen. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Putin and Erdoğan have already reached an agreement on how things should play out. A good old fashioned war of the old style where the outcome has been decided long before the killing even started.
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Re: Armenia, nil points

#6 Post by Octavious » Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:52 am

Well, game set and match Azerbaijan. At least it was quick. A masterclass in diplomacy and how to win a war before it has even started. We should all take note.

A damn shame that 30,000 died for the sake of a foregone conclusion.

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Re: Armenia, nil points

#7 Post by Matticus13 » Thu Nov 12, 2020 2:17 pm

A drop in the bucket compared to Syria, Libya, and Yemen. The 30,000 killed is a reference to the separatist war that ended in '94 as far as tell, Octavious (could certainly be wrong there). Armenia reportedly lost 1,200 soldiers in the brief conflict. Azerbaijan has not stated how many they lost. Russia lost two soldiers when a low flying helicopter was shot down. My condolences to those who lost loved ones, limbs, and property. Western/Russian interference would have only prolonged the conflict and increased the death toll.

Maybe Armenia comes out on top with aid from its allies. How many more lives is is that worth? Not a question easily answered, but it's likely Russia could have done more (the US and EU as well).

Russia is sending in a *peacekeeping force* (no doubt the reason they did nothing) of 1,960 troops. Putin keeps increasing influence in neighboring territories with minimal resistance... The EU should be worried about the behind the scenes bromance that is apparently blossoming between Putin and Erdoğan.
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Re: Armenia, nil points

#8 Post by Octavious » Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:13 pm

It was related to this one, but it's very much in the higher end of estimates I've seen and could well be a load of dingo's kidneys depending on how much of the attacks on civilian targets were propaganda and how many actually happened. We can but hope. As far as I can tell observation from reliable media has been pretty thin on the ground.

A the of the day war only happens when someone in power calculates the gains to outweigh the costs. The EU could have attempted to tilt the balance in favour of not fighting via sanctions if they were that way inclined. Russia could have ended the war in a day by neutralising Azerbaijan's aerial advantage if they really wanted to, but the current Armenian government took over from the pro-Russian one after some pretty intense protests back in 2018 and Russia was not impressed. Now the Armenian President has been utterly destroyed by this national humiliation there's space for a new pro-Russian government to return to power. Russia will get its satellite state with a shiny new puppet government and a population who have been reminded exactly what happens if they fail to show proper respect to their betters in future.
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Re: Armenia, nil points

#9 Post by orathaic » Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:55 pm

Their 'betters' ?

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Re: Armenia, nil points

#10 Post by taylor4 » Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:25 pm

8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) Tragedy of war and collateral damage aside, in a situation more complex and muy complicado than the pre-WWI Balkans, the outcome evaluation in plain sight includes the presence of "peacekeeping" 2K Russian troops with modern day looking tanks.
The Armenian parliament is up to South Korea's in vituperative mob scenes, but hey ! - all politicians are shady or at least slightly shady, no ?

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Re: Armenia, nil points

#11 Post by Octavious » Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:59 pm

orathaic wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:55 pm
Their 'betters' ?
You're confused by the word or the meaning? It is an expression of my belief that the Russians consider themselves to be the superior nation and natural leaders of the region, and my disdain for this view. Alternative words could have been overlords or masters.

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Re: Armenia, nil points

#12 Post by orathaic » Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:47 pm

Octavious wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:59 pm
orathaic wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:55 pm
Their 'betters' ?
You're confused by the word or the meaning? It is an expression of my belief that the Russians consider themselves to be the superior nation and natural leaders of the region, and my disdain for this view. Alternative words could have been overlords or yourself ers.
Confused by your meaning. Thank you for clarifying.

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Re: Armenia, nil points

#13 Post by Octavious » Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:40 pm

No worries

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Re: Armenia, nil points

#14 Post by Le Plume » Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:08 am

A few tidbits I've read on the topic, and peace agreement:
- Azerbaijan gets to build a transit corridor to its exclave through the southern part of Armenia.
- The agreement is an admission on Russia's part of its diminishing power, as they don't intervene more on Armenia's behalf.

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Re: Armenia, nil points

#15 Post by Octavious » Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:49 pm

Le Plume wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:08 am
- The agreement is an admission on Russia's part of its diminishing power, as they don't intervene more on Armenia's behalf.
A curious assessment. In what sense do you believe that Russia's interests have been harmed? All I have seen is the Kremlin punishing an Armenian government for its recent disloyalty, which will likely strengthen Russian influence in the region. The addition of a load of extra Russian forces into the region certainly will. Where is the deminishment?

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Re: Armenia, nil points

#16 Post by Matticus13 » Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:53 pm

Perhaps the greatest coach in the history of American football spoke out about the conflict this morning. I don't expect anything to change because of it, but Bill is usually not outspoken about anything, even football. I would at least like to see the US recognize the Armenian genocide between 1914-23. Would certainly piss Erdoğan off. I doubt Biden has the stomach for such a thing...

CBS Boston: Bill Belichick Calls For U.S. To Take Action Against Turkey, Azerbaijan For ‘Unprovoked And Deadly Attacks On Armenians’.
https://boston.cbslocal.com/2020/11/18/ ... armenians/
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Re: Armenia, nil points

#17 Post by yavuzovic » Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:21 am

Such an action would not be good for US as it will force Turkey to be even closer to Russia.

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Re: Armenia, nil points

#18 Post by peterlund » Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:38 am

Narrow minded nationalistic point of views on unimportant things.

Important things are:
  1. Truth
  2. Peace
  3. Democracy
  4. Freedom
All these things Erdogan and Putin ignore completely while only working for personal power and stealing money from their own countries.

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Re: Armenia, nil points

#19 Post by Matticus13 » Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:12 pm

yavuzovic wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:21 am
Such an action would not be good for US as it will force Turkey to be even closer to Russia.
Calling something by it's proper name forces nothing.

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Re: Armenia, nil points

#20 Post by yavuzovic » Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:10 pm

Matticus13 wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:12 pm
yavuzovic wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:21 am
Such an action would not be good for US as it will force Turkey to be even closer to Russia.
Calling something by it's proper name forces nothing.
I don't know. Turkey hasn't reached the power to create a side depending on itself so it has to choose a side. Before Erdogan, Turkey was mostly sided with the West, so when he changed this policy, you think Turkey is completely sided with Russia. In Libya conflict, Turkey and Russia supported different sides and apparently Turkey still makes decisions that won't please Russia. In my opinion, Turkey is trying to find a balanced route between Russia and US/Europe. This is why the arrested priest was given back to US. I think USA still wants to keep Turkey on its side and you can see this in some occasions. (Like never seriously condemning the offenses against Syrian Kurds, or threatening Turkey for buying Russian Missles). To clarify my last message: US wouldn't really care the Armenians' rights over its interests because even the world police only cares it's own pockets and I don't think a country exists, who could defend others' rights. Best they can do is calling for peace without lifting a finger to make this peace.

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