System of a Down Issue Statement on Artsakh

  • Axl Rosenberg

The members of System of a Down may not always see eye-to-eye politically, but there are clearly some mutual concerns around which the they can rally: they’ve released a collective band statement “a collective band statement and call to action on all their social platforms regarding a current crisis occurring in their cultural homeland of Armenia and Artsakh,” according to a press release.

You can be forgiven if you’re unaware that there is a crisis occurring in Armenia and Artsakh — the story has overshadowed in the American news cycle by various domestic issues (the first presidential debate, filling RBG’s seat on the Supreme Court, the ever-fucked-up-ed-ness of the pandemic, etc.). The press release explains clearly:

“In the early morning hours of Sunday, September 27, forces in Azerbaijan began a large scale pre-meditated offensive attack on Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh), an independent and autonomous country that borders Armenia, populated with a vast majority of ethnic Armenians. International peace keeping powers are doing very little to dissuade Azerbaijan’s advances and the people of Artaskh are doing everything they can to defend their lives and homeland, where they have lived for thousands of years. For them, this a matter of survival, and nothing more as Azeri forces are trying to do little less than eradicate the 150,000 people that these lands are home to.

“Artsakh gained independence in the early 1990s from Azerbaijan after years of war and conflict beginning soon after the 1988 collapse of the Soviet Union, of which both countries were a part of. After gaining its own independence from the Soviet Union, Armenia has been a guarantor of Artsakh’s security. A cease-fire was agreed to between the countries in 1994, but over the past 2 decades, Azerbaijan has frequently broken this pact via mostly minor to moderate advancements and skirmishes along the line of contact.

“This time, Azerbaijan with the aid of Turkey’s Recep Erdogan regime and military forces, launched a large scale offensive attack along the full eastern border of Artsakh and has launched attacks within the borders of Armenia as well. International calls for a stop to Azeri advances have gone ignored, and the leader of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev is attacking with impunity.

“All four members of System of a Down are of Armenian heritage, and since the band’s inception have brought awareness to many human rights issues, none more prevalent than that of the Armenian Genocide at the hands of the Turkish leadership of the Ottoman Empire during WWI, when more than 1.5 million Armenians perished in the first genocide of the 20th century. To the band members and other Armenians all around the world, the war being waged on the people of Artsakh now is a continuation of the Armenian Genocide as the Turkic Azeris along with the support of Recep Erdogan’s Turkey are trying to eradicate the Armenians of Artsakh and claim these lands for themselves.”

Here’s the collective band statement, which is also lengthy, but most certainly worthy reading:

The world turned a blind eye during:

· the Armenian Genocide in 1915

· the mass killings and pogroms of the 1980s and ‘90s

· Azerbaijan’s invasion of Armenia in 2016

Now the world is turning a blind eye to 150,000 landlocked civilians under attack by Azerbaijan and Turkey.

SOAD has always stood for justice and peace. This notion comes from the suffering and injustice done to our people over centuries. Erdogan’s denialist Turkey is continuing the work of its genocidal ancestors, and allied with petro-corrupt Azerbaijan, are firing American made F-16 missiles into Artsakh and parts of Armenia killing soldiers as well as civilians. The world seems too busy with Covid and politics to care, but we HAVE to do something as this is an existential threat for our people and the first Christian Nation.

Since it seems difficult for the media, international organizations, and world powers to call out Azerbaijan on its war mongering, ethnic cleansing, and killing of innocent civilians, let’s help them. We are calling on everyone to join our efforts. Here is how…


Armenia Fund: armeniafund.ejoinme.org/donate

Armenian Wounded Heroes Fund: armenianwoundedheroes.com/donate

1000plusam: www.1000plus.am

Armenian American Medical Society: aamsc.org/make-a-donation

Aid Beyond Borders: aidbeyondborders.org

Sign Petitions:

Armenian Rights Watch – Stop Against Azerbaijan and Turkey’s War Crimes: bit.ly/ArmenianRightsWatch

ANCA – Cut Off Military Aid to Baku: bit.ly/CutMilitaryAid

ANCA – Strengthen US-Armenia Ties: anca.org/action-alerts

WhiteHouse.gov – Condemn Azeri and Turkish Aggression: bit.ly/CondemnAggression

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