There's an awful lot going on in the world today--emphasis on awful--but we haven't heard the term "genocide" for a few months now. Until the news started trickling out of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Never heard of Nagorno-Karabakh? Join the club. We had to look it up, and the map says it's a mountainous region just north of Iran, just south of Georgia (the old Soviet Georgia), and in the middle of Azerbaijan. Well, officially in the middle of Azerbaijan since that country was formed after the fall of the USSR. Apparently there is some dispute about all that, which is why the fight.
The people of Nagorno-Karabakh--predominately ethnic Armenians---have their own government, and have been trying to gain independence from Azerbaijan for decades, according to CNN. A recent war has been fought, and now it's gone cold. But since last winter, the main road to the mountaintop has been blocked, which stopped the flow of food, medicine and fuel. (Since December!) And the Red Cross was stopped from using the road over the summer. (Since June!)
Nothing gets in or out "in what local residents see as a way of forcing them to capitulate to a series of political demands, including a complete surrender of their local autonomy," the CNN story says.
"This weekend, the two sides had appeared to reach a deal on aid deliveries, but by Monday the agreement had either stalled or broken down. As the political dispute drags on, residents are running out of time. Multiple monitoring groups say there is widespread food scarcity on the ground, with child and adult malnutrition setting in."
Other news outfits are starting to report on this.
Radio Free Europe is on the ground there. It reports that the two sides--Azerbaijan on the one, Armenian-backed locals on the other--accuse the other side of blocking the road. We of course have no inside information on it, but we should note that the Azerbaijan government has accused locals of running guns when the road was open, and the Azerbaijanis aren't the ones starving. So you'd be forgiven for leaning one way on who's blocking what.
There are 120,000 ethnic Armenians on the mountaintop. And soon it will get much colder there.
A former prosecutor for the International Criminal Court testified before the U.S. Congress last week that the United States risked being complicit in all this, because our leaders aren't screaming bloody genocide. But that might be unfair. The secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has repeatedly called on the road(s) to be open to resupply the locals. But that might not have got much play in the American press because ... Nagorno-Karabakh?
Well, until now. It seems the western media is starting to kick this hornet's nest, and it's finally getting some buzz. Speaking of which . . . .
Dante had a special place just outside of hell for those who never saw good and called it good, and never saw bad and called it bad. Apparently, Dante didn't have enough respect for those types to give them their own level inside hell itself. So they were kept outside the gates, chased by stinging insects for all eternity.
So we're glad to see that more and more media types are starting to point to Nagorno-Karabakh--even if they can't pronounce it yet--and what could become genocide quickly if more people don't start bearing witness.
After all, we have our souls to think about.