Armenia swapped an Azerbaijani captive and received the body of one of its citizens who died in Azerbaijani captivity last week, in an exchange facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
A series of exchanges of bodies and this one live Azeri captive followed the October 27 joint statement issued by Aliyev and Armenia’s Serzh Sarkisian after their fresh talks hosted by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The two leaders pledged to exchange “without delay” all prisoners of war (POW) and bodies of soldiers and civilians killed in the conflict zone.
There are currently 6 Armenian POWs and 6 Armenian civilians held captive in Azerbaijan and 2 Azeri POWs in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The swap of the live Azeri captive for the dead Armenian citizen, however, has caused quite a stir in the Armenian blogosphere. Most are calling this a big mistake of the Armenian authorities. I’m publishing this guest post by Uzogh, hoping, that it will shed some light on the reasons for this outrage in the Armenian blogosphere.
|During the Soviet Union’s war in Afganistan, Soviet soldiers developed a habit of carrying the “last grenade.” The grenade was kept by to soldier to blow himself up to avoid being captured.
This practice was exercised during our war with Azerbaijan as well, because being caught by Azeris is a painful topic. Few have survived captivity in Azerbaijan, suicides are a common thing.
This is exactly why I look down on talks about morality, dignity and other concepts of modern civilization as applied to the Azerbaijan army. And let me tell you why: I take all these issues very personally. Extremely personally. Because I’m a reserve officer, and if there’s a war, I will be taking part in it. And it might just happen, that I could be taken into captivity.
And this is where the most important point comes. When the enemy knows, that after an Armenian officer is hanged in captivity, this will bring about an epidemic of deaths among Azeri war prisoners on the Armenian side, Armenian officers will stop hanging themselves. And the Armenian officers will no longer need the last grenade. And the era of humanism and Geneva Conventions will finally come.
However, if the enemy knows, that regardless, if I’m dead or alive, he will still get his Azeri prisoner alive, I’ll certainly be handed over dead. Just for the sake of making sure, that there is one less soldier in the enemy’s army.
Yes, this is disgusting arithmetic, my friends. It is sick logic. Its unpleasant, but the mankind hasn’t thought of anything else instead.
This is where the line is crossed, which separates me from champions of humanism, and those talking about “not turning into animals.” I care about our captives. I care about them being alive, not dead.
Champions of clean hands only care about clean hands. And that is exactly why, those, who speak of clean hands, are with those very hands, hanging the “last grenade” on the combat vest of the Armenian soldier.
All I can do, is express my sincere and somewhat sarcastic “thank you” to those.
About the Author
Ruben Muradian (aka Uzogh) – is an IT oriented knife collector. Tries to find
black cat in dark room common sense in Armenian politics.
Russian version of this post is available here.