LETTER: Pay attention to Armenia, Squamish | Squamish Chief

LETTER: Pay attention to Armenia, Squamish

I am fortunate to be Canadian and to live in Squamish and I am grateful to be alive. Please pay attention to what is happening in Armenia right now. Armenia is one of the oldest remaining civilized nations that has a continuous history back to the Stone Age. Armenia is on the edge of Eastern Europe bordering Turkey, Iran, and the former USSR, republics of Georgia and Azerbaijan.

The Armenian genocide was the systematic mass murder and expulsion of 1.5 million ethnic Armenians carried out in Turkey and adjoining regions by the Ottoman government between 1914 and 1923.

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Armenia now is under fire again from Turkey and the state of Azerbaijan in a war armed by drones and state of the art weapons. This intentional action is genocide.

There is much that will be lost forever if we turn another blind eye to these crimes against humanity.

To be silent currently it to be complicit in the crime itself.

In the city where my mother’s family was born, the Turkish militia removed every single stone of the Cathedral, killed many and smashed buildings. Only broken stone blocks remain of Harput, a town of 200,000 people near the Lake Van. Done so that the territory would not be disputed and there would be no evidence.

It is so important that everyone in the world realize that this not acceptable behaviour for civilized human beings.

In the 1990s, Armenia produced jet fighter planes and telescopes for space satellites and was on the forefront of technological development, which continued until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Now Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey, is invading the remaining territories where Armenian people have lived for thousands of years. This is another attempt at genocide while no one is paying attention.

Please realize that history is repeating itself and this is all happening now while you read this story today.

Allowing this destruction of Armenian history and artifacts to proceed could be the modern equivalent to the Roman burning of the library of Alexandria in Egypt, with artwork, stone carvings, and construction techniques that were adopted by the Roman Empire and subsequently used throughout Europe during the Renaissance period.

This is the world we live in when mass-produced weapons easily available are used today to slaughter.

  No matter what religion, this disregard for life and safety is a huge concern for everyone and we need NATO to intervene immediately.

I am of Armenian descent and only alive now because my great grandparents were fortunate enough to flee to the U.S. shortly before the genocide started. My grandfather served in the Second World War as part of the U.S. military.

I just hope that we can all wake up and realize that ‘war’ is murder and that this is a crime against humanity. Just because there is an election or pandemic or something to distract people doesn’t make it OK for Turkey and Azerbaijan to be killing people while we are not paying attention.

Davin Peterson


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