Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 22
By Ali Mustafayev – Trend:
The Baku Network Expert Council (http://bakunetwork.com) has discussed the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict from the retrospective angle as political scientists Elkhan Alasgarov, of Azerbaijan and Raoul Lowery Contreras, of the Unites States were meeting in Baku.
Contreras, well known for his books "Murder in the Mountains" and “The Armenian lobby & U.S. Foreign policy” that highlight his visions about the long-lasting conflict, shared his views about the injustice that Azerbaijan faces over the last two decades.
“Once I used to read an article of The New York Times which was named “Frozen war,” and it was about Khojaly," said Contreras. "I actually hadn’t heard about it anything before, and I was shocked. As an American, and as a former military officer, I can’t accept shooting unarmed men, women and children, which is what happened in Khojaly.”
After getting acquainted with the situation, the author decided to write a book about the tragedy. He interviewed women in the Armenian captivity to build a book. The book "Murder in the Mountains" was based on their stories.
“This is a great job, because it makes Azerbaijani realities public in the United States and, most importantly, the causes of the Karabakh conflict and the essence of the Armenian occupation policy,” said Alasgarov.
Late into the night of February 25, 1992, Khojaly came under intensive fire from the towns of Khankendi and Askeran already occupied by Armenian armed forces. The Armenian forces, supported by the ex-Soviet 366th regiment, completed the encirclement of the town already isolated due to ethnic cleansing againstthe Azerbaijani population in the neighboring regions. The joint forces occupied the town, which was ruined by heavy artillery shelling.
Of 3,000 people who were in the town of Khojaly at the moment of the Armenian attack, 613 were killed, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly. As many as 487 people were severely wounded, including 76 children. Roughly 1,275 people were captured and subjected to unprecedented torture, the fate of 197 people still remains unknown. Eight families were totally annihilated, 130 children lost one and 25 lost both parents.
“The Armenian lobby & U.S. Foreign policy” book describes how strong the Armenian lobby in the United States is.
“There are about 1.3 million Armenians in the United States, but it is not the matter of quantity. There is a group of Armenians, who have a lot of money, and who can get direct access to the US congress. They pay checks for the campaign contributions and they get their point of view across. Azerbaijan has never received such kind of support in the United States,” Contreras said.
He stressed that the Armenians in the United States have two main goals. First is the acceptance of what they call the genocide by the United States, and the second goal is to get as much American foreign aid as they can for Armenia, because Armenia is a poor country.
Now the writer plans to write a third book, which will familiarize the readers with Azerbaijan, as a beautiful country and nation. "This book won’t be about the war, but about Azerbaijan as a nation, its culture and its future,” said Contreras.
The book will narrate about the future of Azerbaijan, about what can be expected from Azerbaijan in the post-oil era, and which directions may be developed in the country.