Artsakh Amnesia: Only in the News When Soldiers Die and Bombs Fall
Perhaps, just perhaps, the death of 20 Armenian soldiers on the Artsakh frontline will finally engender some substantive public debate regarding the entire “Karabakh conflict”.
And that number is the latest fficial count. I leave the question of credibility to the reader.
Who can say…perhaps more will need to die. I pray not.
I can’t for the life of me remember the last time I read anything about Artsakh in the Armenian press prior to this recent outbreak of fighting.
And I’m not referring to official press releases and promo pieces about planting trees or Syrian-Armenians growing organic tomatoes in the “liberated territories”.
I’m talking about hearing the voices of people on the ground – the parents and loved ones whose sons, brothers and husbands are sent to Artsakh to defend the borders and independence of the ‘other’ Armenian state.
What do they think about this continuing state of peace and intermittent warfare?
The media in Armenia, outside of a few news outlets, seem to be more interested in counting the number of Azerbaijani tanks destroyed and soldiers killed.
Why doesn’t the press ask some hard questions about this ongoing issue.
Investigate the process of why it is that some conscripts get sent to Artsakh and others get a pass.
Investigate the periodic mysterious non-combat deaths of soldiers.
Investigate the conditions in which these young conscripts are obligated to serve their two-year stretch.
The list is endless. (BTW, my profound thanks to those few, in the media and civil society, voicing such concerns).
These are real life and death issues for many in Artsakh and Armenia.
As such they demand discussion and debate.
Those in power, the decision-makers, those who send young men to the front, cannot hide from public scrutiny using the veil of patriotism as convenient cover.
What the past few days have proved is that the media in Armenia is woefully inadequate and unprepared to independently cover such events. (No wonder we get livid when the international media can only base their reports on official communiques from Yerevan, Stepanakert and Baku – who else can they turn to?)
If so, maybe various news outlets need to pool their resources and talents. But who am I to say?
Are the deaths of 20 Armenian soldiers enough to incentivize much need change?
I would have thought that the death of even one soldier would be more than enough.
The slogan, “Not One Inch of Land” is easy to mouth. Guaranteeing such an objective more often than not requires sacrifice.
Let’s hear from those making such sacrifices. Let’s not conveniently ignore the issue until the next time more blood is spilled.
We wrap our dead soldiers in the tri-color and deliver them to their eternal rest.
They deserve so much more.