In an open letter, published in Asbarez News, ANCA’s Executive Director Aram Hamparian shares his growing concerns about Azerbaijan’s escalating aggression and his hope that, working together through the ANCA, Armenian Americans can play a decisive role in helping to deter Ilham Aliyev’s march toward war.
“Dear fellow friends of Armenia:
Our main enemies are the Armenians of the world!”
That’s not Talaat Pasha or Abdul Hamid talking.
And these words aren’t from 1915.
They were recently spoken by Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev.
Baku’s oil-rich autocrat who openly lays claim to Yerevan, pardons anti-Armenian axe-killers, and, with his Turkish partners, is striving to isolate Armenia and destroy Artsakh.
He’s angry, full of irrational hatred against each and every Armenian around the world.
We haven’t seen a world leader demonize an entire ethnicity like this since Nazi Germany.
And it’s not just talk.
He’s backed up his threats with tens of millions of lobbying dollars. With fatal cross-border attacks, sniper fire, and a vast multi-billion dollar arms build-up.
Aliyev spends more on arms every year than Armenia’s entire state budget.
Scary as it may be, it’s time we took Aliyev at his word. With his allies in Ankara, he’s out to finish the work of 1915. He’s announced his motive, has the opportunity, and is buying the weapons.
So, what stands in his way?
Well, first and foremost, the brave young men who stand guard, night and day, along the frontiers of Armenian freedom. These soldiers are true heroes.
And behind these courageous defense forces (and their families) are the rest of us. You and me and the 7 out of 10 Armenians who live outside our homeland.
We’re the Second Army of the Armenian nation; in many ways, our homeland’s first line of defense. But, like any army, we need our people’s support – the resources, financial and otherwise – to sustain and strengthen our advocacy.
We are not called upon to make the sacrifices of soldiers – who put their lives on the line every day. But, make no mistake, the stakes for Armenia are just as high. Armenians worldwide, inspired by the Hai Tahd movement, truly play a vital role in protecting our homeland and promoting our rights.
Today our activism is more crucial than ever. Our nation is calling to us, as she has so often before. Recall the words of our great poet Yeghishe Charents:
“Oh! Armenian People, Your Salvation
Lies Only in Your Collective Power.”
Charents was right then and his wise words still echo in our hearts.
In this timeless spirit of common service to our greater cause, let us, as proud sons and daughters of a united nation, rally to the call of our homeland.
None of us can do everything, but each of us should do something. And a great place to start is by being part of ANCA Telethon 2014.
This is, very simply, the devotion we owe to our past. The determination we owe to our future. And the sacred debt we owe to ourselves. With your enduring faith and continued support, we can fight on all the fronts of the Armenian Cause:
– Securing Armenian Genocide recognition and reparations (starting with Turkey’s return of Armenian Church properties) through advocacy and the assertion of our national rights through an innovative new ANCA law and justice center in Washington, DC.
– Strengthening Armenia, creating jobs, reversing out-migration, fighting corruption, fostering democracy, growing the U.S.-Armenia economic relationship, and building homeland-diaspora consensus and cooperation around our shared national ideals.
– Defending and supporting the status and security of the independent Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, pushing back against Azerbaijani aggression, and fighting the growing power of anti-Armenian lobbies here in America. Just last week we lead the drive to get California to recognize the independence of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic!
– Investing in ourselves, our community and especially our youth, through the purchase of a new ANCA Capital Gateway House, a home for Armenians from across American who have come to Washington to start careers in politics, policy-making, and the media.
– Maintaining Armenian identity and culture in our Diaspora, by engaging and inspiring our youth and encouraging civic activism, and by protecting our communities in the Middle East by ensuring the delivery of international humanitarian relief to our at-risk communities.
We’re fighting 24×7 for your views and values, on all these issues and many others. With your early support for the ANCA Telethon we’ll be able to do even more So please give what you can. Large or small, every donation makes a difference.”