COMMENTARY: AZERIS ARE WINNING THE MEDIA WAR
By Edmond Y. Azadian

http://www.mirrorspectator.com/2012/05/31/commentary-azeris-are-winning-the-media-war/
May 31, 2012 11:21 am

Azerbaijan's political clout is growing in the Caucasus, despite
internal dissensions as well as the beatings and jailing of the jour-
nalists, because major powers are not interested in those finer
matters, unless they became the necessary tools to meddle in the
internal affairs of some targeted sovereign countries, marked for
regime change.

Currently, Azerbaijan has been elected to the UN Security Council
non-permanent membership and in a rotating system, it is presiding over
the UN Security Council. If you need to figure out the moral bankruptcy
of international politics, you have to watch the war-mongering
President Ilham Aliyev, delivering his speech at the UN forum
lambasting Armenians as aggressors and occupiers of Azeri territory.

Two major factors have contributed to Azerbaijan's accession to the
Security Council seat, defeating Slovenia: 1) It is reported that
between $100 to $140 million were "donated" to developing countries
to buy their votes. Islamic countries are regularly brain- washed
at Islamic conferences that Christian Armenians have massacred their
fellow Muslims in Karabagh, playing the religion card. Most vocal among
the Islamic countries is Pakistan, under different administrations
(Benazir Bhutto, Pervez Musharraf and the current rulers). They are
natural supporters of their Muslim Azeri brothers, never mind that
the Karabagh conflict is not a religious issue.

Therefore, the Islamic bloc does not need any bribes to sup- port
Azerbaijan's candidacy. 2) Azerbaijan's newfound friendship with
Israel has also helped to rally many Western countries around that
country. Azeris are playing an incendiary role in the region, providing
their territory to Israel as a launching pad, in preparation for an
eventual confrontation with Iran.

Interestingly, no binding resolutions can be adopted at the UN
Security Council level on the Karabagh issue, because the co- chairs
of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
are also part of that body and they are not ready to relinquish their
mediator's role to the UN.

However, Azerbaijan and Turkey will gain a lot of public
relations mileage every time they can bring the issue to the UN
forum. This poses a very serious challenge to Armenia's foreign
policy establishment. Armenia has seasoned diplomats, beginning with
Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian, and ending with Garen Nazarian,
Armenia's ambassador to the UN.

Armenia cannot depend too much on world powers, who have demonstrated
time and again that Azeri oil is worth more than Armenian blood.

Therefore, they have to rely on the limited resources at their
disposal.

One may wonder what Diaspora Armenian activism can provide to the
Foreign Ministry's diplomacy. An organized and politicized diaspora
can act as the extension of Armenia's foreign policy establishment.

But are we ready, willing and capable of playing

that role? Do we have the political vision to assume such a role?

Some introspection, admission of responsibility and guilt, if you

will, are in order here. The Armenian community was informed a long
time ago about

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev's appearance at the UN. In addition, no
one had any doubts what kind of speech he was about to deliver. Only
an impressive massive rally at the UN could blunt Aliyev's message,
reverberating in the news media. Our diplomats were already conducting
their task, quietly. But Aliyev stood up at that world forum and
told his side of the story with- out an effective challenge from
"the one-million-strong US Armenian community."

Who was supposed to take the initiative? Our religious leaders have a
good excuse and they cannot get involved in politics; never mind that
Aliyev's politics destroys thousands of khachkars, religious symbols
in Nakhichevan with another few hundred houses of worship. Out of
thousands of attendants at the Times Square commemoration, a few
hundred must have the political motivation to counter Aliyev at
the UN. Some of our lobbying groups are locked in other battles and
therefore let Aliyev enjoy a free ride at the UN.

That leaves the burden to the Armenian political parties; the Armenian
Democratic Liberal Party (ADL) is split, and whatever the legitimate
leadership undertakes on the East Coast, some renegades undermine the
initiative, under orders from their Armenian Revolutionary Federation
(ARF) bosses.

The ARF led a half-hearted demonstration at the UN head- quarters,
probably giving a good laugh to the Azeri delegation. It was reported
that only 50 demonstrations showed up with some banners. That was
enough for domestic consumption to boast that only the ARF challenged
Aliyev's arrogance, whereas it may have done more damage than good.

If the ARF leadership considered that this was a cause of para- mount
importance, they could have invited other groups also to participate,
if they were not concerned sharing the glory with them. After all,
that party was able to mobilize more than 1,000 demonstrators at the
Armenian Embassy in New York to protest the signing of protocols with
Turkey. Many more showed up under their leadership in Los Angeles and
Beirut to harangue and insult Armenia's president during that period.

Had no one showed up at the UN, the Azeri delegation could be
mystified, thinking that Armenians have a secret formula to counter
their onslaught. But the way the community reacted pacified the
Azeris that they can dismiss Armenian political power in the US,
which demonstrated its quixotic face at the UN.

Perhaps it is not altogether fair to single out the ARF leadership in
this case, since the entire community is responsible for the debacle.

And after that we cannot play the role of armchair guru, blaming
Armenia's foreign policy establishment battling the Azeri public
relations and media onslaught.

As we can see, the Azeris are winning the media war assisted by
petrodollars and their friends in higher positions.