Our Analytics 2 january — 12:38

They with Pashinyan against Aliyev (Notes after victory series, Part One)

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BY EYNULLA FATULLAYEV

The Azerbaijani opposition, in other words, the national democrats, the frontists and the political Koschei of our time -- true, without treasures, but with political longevity -- Ali Karimli deserve one idiom: a fly in the ointment. But even this small insect can cause much more inconvenience to the Azerbaijani government than the quasi-opposition, from under whose feet the last remnants of the political landscape have been knocked out.

Elections generate a moment of truth

The polemical spirit in the battles between the government and the opposition can amount to heavy mutual recriminations. In countries with a centuries-old established political system, in the United States or Britain, mutual accusations, and the overwhelming majority of them are groundless, cross all conceivable and sometimes inconceivable boundaries. What angry epithets and offensive metaphors have not sounded from the lips of Madame Clinton to Parvenu-Trump? And the extravagant Trump himself, in the fight against the advancing Biden, crossed the line of political ethics at every opportunity. Just one comparison of the elected American president with a resurrected corpse is enough?! And how did the British oppositionists, who lynched the original Boris, parasitise on the sacred right of self-expression? In the struggle of ideas and worldviews, models and ways of the country's development, political passions cover the mind with an impenetrable veil. But then comes the moment of truth. The loser politician leaves the stage. Dissolves into the abyss of history. And they forget about him forever. This is the practice in countries of high political civilisation.

The tradition of political swings and change of power is becoming an integral part of culture in countries with a high index of power distance. On the example of Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and many other countries of the East that did not accept the Western model of democracy, their own original convertible system of political alternatives has been formed. These countries, like many other illiberal, but democratic states of the Big East, despite their alienation from Western political culture, are considered countries that have chosen democracy as a system of government.

The parliamentary form of government in the countries of new democracies gives rise to ochlocracy

Azerbaijani opposition, like the Pashinyan government...

But back to Azerbaijan. What have the representatives of the Azerbaijani political decadence (these social groups cannot be called a structured opposition) accused the Azerbaijani authorities of over the past quarter of a century? The opposition accused the authorities of irremovability and inability to resolve the Karabakh problem.

The opposition, due to its lack of education, amateurism and superficial analysis of the problems of global and regional politics, tried to present the situation in Azerbaijan in the form of a classic antagonism between the ruling elite and the protest society. At the same time, the main argument of the vanguard of the political decadence was precisely the irremovability of the Azerbaijani government. However, all the arguments about the presence of such venerable politicians as Netanyahu, Merkel, Erdogan, Orban and many others in power for decades have caused fierce debate about the form of government.

What did the crisis of governance in Armenia during the second Karabakh war and the systemic failure in Georgia during the period of tough confrontation with Russia show? And also the paralysis of power in Ukraine, which, after the bitter lessons of anarchy, was forced to restore a strong presidential power? Instability and fragility of a parliamentary form of government in countries threatened by external or internal destabilisation. Azerbaijan, like Turkey, Russia, some countries of Eastern Europe during the period of constitutional reforms under the rule of Heydar Aliyev chose a strong institution of presidential rule. Let's get ahead of ourselves, making the reservation that it was the strong presidential power that saved the country from political collapse and the danger of permanent destabilisation. But Azerbaijani oppositionists presented a strong presidential power as an imposed uncontested authoritarianism. There were also such hotheads who drew analogies with the most reactionary dictatorships. Under an authoritarian form of government, the people named electorate is deprived of the right to an alternative.

Since 2003, for 17 years, the Azerbaijani opposition has fought for power in an environment of broad political pluralism, although it missed several chances of coming to power. Ultimately, the people gave their votes to Ilham Aliyev and the current government. The opposition, like the defeated Trump today, lamented election fraud and falsifications. But who took away the right of the opposition to express protest? If rallies in Tbilisi, Yerevan, Kyiv and even Bishkek drew hundreds of thousands and millions of people, then the biggest success of the opposition in during Ilham Aliyev's 17 years rule has been an opposition rally, which brought together no more than 10,000 motley crowd (including several thousand secret police agents and camouflaged supporters of the authorities).

Since 2005, the opposition has ignored all elections on a pluralistic basis, boycotting a crucial process that could ensure the rotation of branches of government. Throughout the entire period of his rule, Ilham Aliyev had the undeniable highest vote of confidence of the voter and citizen. And the opposition opposed the authorities with low-standard homogeneous network polemics and endless but futile attempts to undermine the internal political situation. And all the arguments of the authorities about the intention and the need to mobilise all forces and resources to resolve the main problem -- the territorial claims of Armenia -- ran into erroneous judgments about the situation in the world order.

From year to year, the popular protest in Azerbaijan was expressed in approximately such a way

The opposition, like the Pashinyan government, made a historical mistake, completely excluding the option of a forceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict. The opposition did not allow the option of a war in Karabakh, since it believed that the hostilities would become protracted. That would be fraught with the risk of internal political destabilisation. The opposition would be happy with this scenario. But it did not allow for it, proceeding from the pragmatic considerations of those in power. The blitzkrieg of the Azerbaijani Army in the light of the silent neutrality of Russia, which allowed the liberation of the historical capital of Karabakh, Shusha, became the most unexpected and harsh scenario for the opposition. This was not only a historical defeat for the Armenian authorities, but the entire legacy of the frontist Elchibeism.

Anthem of the Coloured International

The oppositional front was counting on a completely different set of circumstances. Ilham Aliyev's opponents, like the Pashinyan government, cherished the hope of imitating endless fruitless negotiations within the framework of the Minsk format. And the foreign policy benchmark for the zealous accomplices of the quiet absorption of Karabakh by Armenia was not an allied self-sufficient Turkey, which, under the leadership of Erdogan, returned to its sought-after original historical role in the East, but the West, which was the inspirer of Karabakh separatism, undermining the foundations of systemic stability in Azerbaijan from the first day of Ilham Aliyev's rule.

If Ilham Aliyev expressed complete unanimity with the Turkish government in the fateful and decisive times for Erdogan's government, whether it was the rebellion of the Western-fuelled coloured forces in Gezi or the military coup of the Gulenists, the Azerbaijani opposition advocated the early fall of the current Turkish president, singing hallelujah to pro-Western forces in Turkey.

Azerbaijani oppositionists were fond of the love revolution

Blind pro-Westernism eventually threw Karimli into the arms of Pashinyan himself. After the colour revolution in Armenia, it was Ali Karimli who was one of the first in Azerbaijan to make a loud appeal to the authorities about the inadmissibility of the resumption of hostilities in Karabakh. Karimli said that the Azerbaijani authorities would act immorally if they played up to Russian interests, interfered with the cause of the revolution and took advantage of the situation. It remained to add: took advantage of the situation in the interests of the Azerbaijani people! Paradoxically, the authorities have shown unprecedented restraint towards Karimli's statement. The frontist leader continued the policy of national betrayal in the spirit of Soros's new interpretation of the old Leninist axiom about 'turning an imperialist war into a class war.' That is, Ali Karimli felt a greater spiritual closeness with Pashinyan than with the authorities of his own country, which he threatened with militant rhetoric, proceeding from the interests of the victory of the revolutionary cause of the Armenian people.

Since 2018, from the first days of the Armenian revolution, without thinking about the evolution and the tragic future of another colour revolution in the light of eloquent examples of the degradation of the Ukrainian Maidan, the disintegration of state institutions in Kyrgyzstan and the emergence of a comical quasi-state in Moldova, Ali Karimli has become the main propagandist of the Armenian revolution of love in Azerbaijan.

'People's power has been established in Armenia. And this power radically changed the reputation of this state in the world. The intensification of the negotiation process in Karabakh is expected. And Azerbaijan, as an authoritarian country, will face great pressure from the Western community, which will eventually lead to a compromise solution of the Karabakh problem in favour of Armenia.' This is a small excerpt from Ali Karimli's shameful statement from 2018 immediately after the formation of Pashinyan's ochlocracy. A person who claimed the highest power in the country had to live for two more years to be convinced of his own insolvency, ignorance and inability to analyse the situation even in the southern part of the small Caucasus.

Armenian revolution glorified by Karimli ended with the surrender of Armenia in Karabakh and the pogroms in the Pashinyan's office

Of course, Pashinyan's ochlocracy did not become the people's power, moreover, in the opinion of the absolute majority of political forces in Armenia, it degenerated into a system of trivial authoritarianism. Azerbaijan, taking advantage of the prerogative of self-defence granted by international law, launched a counter-offensive operation, overthrew the occupation troops, liberated seven adjacent districts, as well as the historical capital of Karabakh, Shusha, providing the plains of Karabakh with a 'security zone' -- Hadrut -- and also achieved the demarcation of borders with Armenia, established during the period of the USSR. In fact, Ilham Aliyev made a fantastic leap in 44 days, restoring the status quo of 1988, the period of the beginning of the aggravation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

All Armenians unanimously about the victory of Azerbaijan, except for Ali Karimli

What should a worthy opponent have done? How would a self-respecting person behave without losing one's sense of dignity, duty, and responsibility? Karimli was obliged to apologise to the president, society and even his own diminishing flock of supporters, to admit his failure, analytical inaptitude, inability to make adequate assessments of the political situation and honestly leave public life. In real politics, he has long been gone.

Ilham Aliyev made the dream of several generations of Azerbaijanis come true, in particular the galaxy of politicians of the 1988 era, who founded the Popular Front of Azerbaijan (PFA) due to the inability of the then party-state apparatus to stand guard over Azerbaijani interests in Karabakh. Not a single political force, including the PFA, declared and counted on the deportation of the Armenian population from Karabakh and the capture of Stepanakert (Khankendi). It was only about protecting the interests of the Azerbaijani population and establishing Azerbaijan's state sovereignty in the rebellious NKAO (Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region). Ilham Aliyev fully realised the dreams and aspirations of Azerbaijanis. Moreover, the president achieved a change in the shameful results of the first Karabakh war lost by the PFA. Azerbaijan liberated all territories lost since the outbreak of the war in 1992.

Ilham Aliyev made the dream of several generations of Azerbaijanis come true in 44 days

As for Khankendi and three other districts, in which the predominant Armenian population lived, control over these districts was lost in 1989 after the introduction of the institution of Volsky's special administration. True, later the institute was abolished, but the Organising Committee of the 'governor from the Centre' Viktor Polyanichko was created, who took the chair of the former head of the Regional Committee. It was the only building in Stepanakert controlled by the central government, into which shells from grenade launchers flew permanently.

The fantastic victory of Azerbaijan and Ilham Aliyev -- and since November 10 these are identical and indissoluble common nouns for every Azerbaijani -- caused a protracted political crisis in Armenia, deepening every day. These are the results of the Soros revolution canonised by Karimli: the okhlos separated from the cracy, invaded and trashed the offie of the leader of the revolution, and items of secondary necessity occasionally fly at Pashinyan from different angles. All Armenia, from the wise Levon Ter-Petrosyan to the stupid Gagik Tsarukyan, from the highly educated Gerard Libaridian to the clever Alexander Iskandaryan, from the pro-Russian Vazgen Manukyan to the western diaspora, declare in unison the triumphal victory of Azerbaijan and the historical defeat of Armenia.

And only Ali Karimli, in his network autonomy, spoke about... the defeat of Azerbaijan. Yes, yes, analysing and summing up the results of the glorious Patriotic War, the leader of the opposition is exasperated in phraseological units, convincing his audience -- a multi-tribal riff-raff of Azerbaijan's Pyrrhic victory. Karimli poisons the taste of the people's victory by adding bubbles of the sweetest poison. The oppositionist convinces the public opinion that Azerbaijan was defeated, because it failed to cut out the Armenian population in the mountainous part of Karabakh and plant flag of victory in Khankendi.

Now Ali Karimli looks at the world through black glasses

In his New Year's address on Facebook, Karimli did acknowledge the victory of the Azerbaijani Army. Only in his opinion Ilham Aliyev was unable to consolidate the military success by a political victory. Karimli portrayed everything in such a way that some independent army rebelled and rushed to the offensive, liberating Karabakh. But the Azerbaijani president did everything to prevent the final victory. And thwarted the success of this army.

Imagine what nonsense the politician was talking about, and with pompous pathos behind which was hideousness and meanness! As if the army was led into the battle not by the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, President Ilham Aliyev, but by the oppositionist Ali Karimli himself. And what kind of misfortune, at the climax, when Karimli, together with soldiers and officers, was close to victory, Ilham Aliyev did not allow the Popular Front to hoist the banner of victory in Khankendi. A terrifying sight!

Ali Karimli knows, but is silent

Does Ali Karimli know that since 1997, after the forced resignation of Ter-Petrosyan, all subsequent governments of Armenia refused to even discuss the issue of returning to Azerbaijan two occupied districts -- Lachin and Kalbajar -- insisting on their exceptional significance as corridors, transport arteries connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia?! He knows, but is silent.

Does Ali Karimli know that since 1988 not a single government official, and a year later since 1989, even an ordinary Azerbaijani under threat of life could not visit Stepanakert and Hadrut? In the fall of 1991, as part of the Zheleznovodsk process, President Ayaz Mutallibov, accompanied by Yeltsin and Nazarbayev, ventured into Stepanakert, but miraculously survived. And the Minister of Internal Affairs Magomed Asadov became the last security officer to come to Askeran, accompanied by a large armed guard. He knows, but is silent.

Mutallibov miraculously escaped in Stepanakert

Does Ali Karimli know that it was the Russian troops in the first half of 1991 that carried out the special operation Ring, carrying out the cleansing of the Shahumyan and Getashen districts of Armenian militants? He knows, but is silent.

Does Ali Karimli know that the PFA government owed its successful breakthrough in Mardakert (Aghdere) in the summer of 1992 to Russian military specialists? Ex-minister of defence and friend of Pavel Grachov, Rahim Gaziyev knows and is not silent. But Karimli knows, and is silent.

Does Ali Karimli know that Armenia planned to move the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh to Shusha in 2021 and complete the process of settling the spiritual capital of Azerbaijan? And the return of the city under the control of Azerbaijan has not been put on the agenda of international mediators within the CSCE (OSCE) since 1992? He knows, but is silent.

Does Ali Karimli know that the Western mediators since 1992 insisted on the creation of a 30-kilometre Lachin corridor in Karabakh after a referendum among the Armenian population, which meant the mechanical separation of the Lachin district from Azerbaijan? He knows, but is silent.

Does Ali Karimli know that Azerbaijan had to dream only of de-occupation of 5 lowland districts, but with the condition of holding a referendum in Karabakh 5 years after the signing of the Big Political Agreement? He knows, but is silent.

Does Ali Karimli know that within the framework of the negotiation process since 1992 the issue of returning Azerbaijani territories on the border strip with Armenia has not been considered in connection with the Karabakh settlement? He knows, but is silent.

Does Ali Karimli know that precisely under the influence of the US Secretary of State Kerry and Deputy Secretary of State Nuland, who openly threatened ex-Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, Azerbaijan was forced to suspend the counteroffensive during the April war? He knows, but is silent.

Does Ali Karimli know that it was the Russian army that carried out Operation Ring?! He knows, but is silent

Does Ali Karimli know that Azerbaijan could have faced the Kosovo scenario, which President Trump openly announced during the war, if it invaded the cities and villages of the compact Armenian population? He knows, but is silent.

Does Ali Karimli know that, unlike the West, Russia has unequivocally recognised the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, including the mountainous part of Karabakh and Khankendi, and introduced peacekeeping forces as a stabilising guarantor of a lasting and systemic peace? Does Ali Karimli know that the president of Russia has declared the Karabakh conflict to end within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan? He knows, but is silent.

Does Ali Karimli know that in the conditions of the modern world order, none of the leading powers would allow Azerbaijan to take any actions in the areas of compact residence of the Armenian population until the signing of the final peace agreement? He knows, but is silent.

Does Ali Karimli know that Armenia was ready to consider the issue of opening a road corridor from Zangezur to Nakhchivan only if the Lachin corridor passed under the jurisdiction of Yerevan? He knows, but is silent.

How can one go against this obvious reality, shamelessly belittling the role of President Ilham Aliyev in the victory, questioning his greatest historical success, casting a shadow over the victory of the Azerbaijani Army? Karimli is trying with all his might to downplay the historical significance of the victory in the Patriotic War by focusing public attention on the presence of Russian peacekeeping forces. Karimli's anti-Russian rhetoric conceals a truth that is unpleasant for the national democrats: it was Russia and Turkey that acted as the guarantor of the inviolability of the new status quo, announcing the ultimate goal of the integration of the areas of compact residence of Armenians into Azerbaijan.

Karimli and the frontists radicalise public sentiment against the two guarantors of the Moscow Pact

Why, in this case, according to Karimli's logic, US troops should have been deployed in Karabakh, whose president openly threatened Azerbaijan with a 'Kosovo precedent'?! Or France, which recognised the independence of the separatist 'NKR'? Or Germany, which regarded the actions of Azerbaijan, which suffered from aggression, as military aggression?!

Do you know what the argumentation of Ali Karimli can be compared with? If Turkey began to accuse Mustafa Kemal Ataturk that having signed the Lausanne Peace, the Turkish government could not return Arabia, Egypt and Palestine...

Of course, one could leave the last statements of home-grown Ali Karimli and some other online oppositionists without attention. This is what the overwhelming majority of the Azerbaijani public did. However, Karimli's speeches and statements pursue a far-reaching plan to radicalise Azerbaijani public opinion. The task of Karimli and the national democrats is to make every effort to undermine the Moscow Agreement and create a new crisis situation in the region.

After all, just the day before the first warning shot thundered across the ocean. The US Senate has imposed sanctions against the guarantors of the regional security system -- Russia and Turkey. The war in Karabakh is a thing of the past. However, a global geopolitical war begins...

To be continued...

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