Give Us Liberty or Give Us Death!

Give Us Liberty or Give Us Death!

By Garo R. Madenlian

The situation has progressively worsened in Armenia during the past few years and even more so since November after the latest invasion, capitulation and snap elections.

Azeri-Turkish invasion of Artsakh and portions of Armenia furthering their agenda to create a pan-Turkic empire across the Caspian and beyond; Pashinyan’s capitulation and plan to have friendly relations with neighbors as he disarms the south while Turks and Azeris circulate maps with Artsakh and Syunik in Azerbaijan as they amass forces on the border; and the recent elections with Nikol using government resources, leverage and funds with widespread voter fraud and tampering to stay in power despite the economic, military, and social crises… all threaten the very existence of Armenia as an independent state.

The time for action is long overdue to at all cost stop this modern-day triumvirate of Recip, Ilham and Nikol from reaching their nefarious goals. The first step is to break up this ‘menage a trois’ by removing Nikol in order to secure Armenia’s Independence and reestablish the Republic of Artsakh. Otherwise, a disastrous fate awaits Armenians subjecting the peaceful Christian population to unimaginable conditions under Turkish-Azeri rule similar to the Genocide (1915-1923) or pogroms in Azerbaijan (1988-1990).

It is in this context that Patrick Henry’s speech applies; eloquently delivered in March of 1775 in Virgina in support of the revolution to break free from the King’s oppressive rule at a time when England was a superpower with forces along the coast and many colonists afraid to oppose such a formidable enemy…

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death! A modern Armenian adaptation of Patrick Henry’s epic speech.

We should think highly of the patriotism and abilities of those addressing the current situation, however different people often times see the same subject in different lights, and therefore it should not be considered disrespectful to freely present opposite or contradictory opinions. It is time for action, not the exchange of ceremonious pleasantries as the dire situation in Armenia and Artsakh poses the very serious question of freedom and liberty or slavery/oppression and subjugation, and with such an important issue there should be freedom to debate openly and without reservation. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at the truth, and then with great responsibility fulfill our duties to God and our country; to hold back opinions for fear of offending others at such a serious crossroad in our history while facing an existential threat is tantamount to being guilty of treason against our country.

It is natural for people to remain hopeful and ignore the painful truth. Some will shut their eyes and embrace a false hope, and listen to a “song of that siren until she transforms us into beasts,” similar to sailors who were lured to their deaths on the rocky shores by sea creatures singing beautiful irresistible songs, and Circe who turned Odysseus’ men into swine. Wise and knowledgeable people engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty do not act this way, otherwise they would simply be amongst the many who have eyes and ears but are unable to recognize (see or hear) the reality and what is necessary for their survival. It is far better to know the horrible truth and accept all the potential anguish it may cause, in order to prepare for what is about to come.

We are guided by our experiences to predict Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s future actions based on their past conduct, and in judging their past conduct there is nothing that justifies such false hopes to provide comfort. Don’t trust the devious and insidious smile with which they will lay treacherous traps for us; their deceptive “friendly” gestures and comments are in actuality Judas-like kisses of betrayal. Ask yourselves how their ‘gracious’ offers comport with the invasion of our lands last year and the continued warlike preparations along our remaining borders? Do not be deceived, these are the tools of a continued war for imminent subjugation and oppression. What is the purpose of their troops, conducting military exercises, and the build-up of a modern arsenal, if not to force us into submission? There is no other possible motive. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are there to finish what they started in 1915; to continue the destruction of the Armenian people and pave the way for a new pan-Turkic empire.

With what can we oppose them? We’ve unsuccessfully tried argument and debate, and discussion with the international community over the years. We’ve examined the situation from every possible angle, and all in vain. Should we resort to humbly asking or begging, or find new terms acceptable for us to live by under their rule?

Let us not deceive ourselves; we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm headed right for us. We have petitioned; We have remonstrated and protested; we have asked and begged; and we have now prostrated ourselves. Our petitions have been ignored; our remonstrations and protests have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded and we have been spurned with contempt and rejected with disdain. After all this, many still indulge in the false hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free, if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending, if we intend to continue the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until we establish a glorious free, independent and united Armenia… we must fight! I repeat, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left for us!

They say we are weak and unable to cope with such a formidable adversary and enemy. But when will we be stronger? Will it be next week, next year, or when we are totally disarmed and there are Turkish and Azeri soldiers stationed in every house in every village? Will we gain strength through hesitation, uncertainty and inaction? Will we be able to effectively resist by lying flat on our backs and clinging to the illusion of hope until captured by our enemies or worse?

We are not weak if we make proper use of the resources at our disposal. Millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in a country such as ours, are invincible by any force which our enemies can send against us, and we’re even stronger when we forge alliances with true allies against mankini’s common enemies. In addition, victory in battle does not go to the strong alone, but rather to the vigilant, active and brave just like at the battels of Sardarabad, Gharakilise, and Bash Abaran in 1918, or those in Shushi, Agdam and Hadrut in the early 1990s. Besides, we no longer have a choice as it’s too late to “retire from the contest.” Even if at one point some wanted to submit, to retreat now is to accept complete submission and forge the chains of slavery upon ourselves with their clanking heard throughout Yerevan! The war is inevitable; Let it come! I repeat, let it come!

It is senseless to make the situation seem less dire. People may cry for peace, but there is no peace as the war has already begun; it’s in progress, and it continues. Soon the clash of arms will be heard again from the east and the west, from the skies above and on the ground. Our brothers are already in the field while we stand idly by. What is it that people want? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery, oppression and subjugation, or even massacres and genocide? Forbid it, Almighty God!

We do not know what course others may take, but as for us, give us liberty or give us death!