Opinion | Armenians Under Fire: Who Will Help?

To the Editor:

Re “Resignation and Despair Stoke Armenian Conflict” (front page, Oct. 19):

Your reporting on the escalating attacks on Armenians in the ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh filled me with dread.

Large-scale military action carried out by Azerbaijan with Turkey’s support, reports of human rights violations, and continued bombings on the civilian population in the capital suggest that for the first time since the Armenian genocide, the Armenian people face an existential threat. Whether or not the United States and Russia intervene to quell the violence has implications for vulnerable peoples around the world. When world powers step in to stop unfolding atrocities, it sends a signal to aggressors that annexing land or destroying a people and culture will not be tolerated.

Hitler, when laying out his plan for mass annihilation, mused that history moves on from such atrocities. Referring to the Armenian genocide by Ottoman Turks, he famously asked, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

For nearly 30 years Armenia has existed as a newly independent republic, and Armenian immigrants throughout the world — I among them — have spent decades and considerable resources to promote social, economic and humanitarian development to help Armenia revive and thrive. In a poor country already on its knees because of the pandemic, progress is unraveling.

Will America step in to prevent such an atrocity?

Noubar Afeyan
Cambridge, Mass.
The writer is a co-founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative and the chairman of Moderna.

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