Armenians torch their homes on land ceded to Azerbaijan

As reported here:

Do you think this is justified legally, ethically or morally? I also wonder if Putin knew all along that this would happen, since I can’t find any evidence that he has spoken out against the practice.

I haven’t developed an opinion about the OP, but I just wanted to say that I wish the paper I wrote in grad school in the 1990s about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict weren’t still so damn topical. There was much discussion of whether Armenia was providing support to the ethnic Armenians of Karabakh at the time. So as part of my research, I called up the Azerbaijani Embassy in Washington, D.C. to ask. I spoke with a political officer, who made me jump through some hoops before he would talk to me at all (send him a photocopy of my driver’s license and school ID via snail mail so he had some proof that I was who I said I was). And then he told me that the government of Armenia supported the ethnic Armenians of Karabakh in spirit, of course, but in no other way.

Are they their own homes? Then they need no justification.

Here is a good summary of why Putin’s response has been at once tepid and vindictive with respect to the scorched earth actions by Armenians:

As to attempting to make moral judgements about the actions by Armenians, I’m afraid that’s a fool’s errand.

I tend to agree with this. Land is ceded, but to hell with getting the house.

Were they compensated for their homes, like in cases of Eminent Domain? Which still stinks in all too many cases.

This is something I have no doubt all parties involved in the agreement expected to happen so what’s the point of speaking out against it? Better that the Armenians take out their frustration on property and leave rather than stay and stab someone. I know I’d be very pissed off if the United States decided to cede my city to France. And unless I was being compensated fairly, I would make a point to make my home uninhabitable and uneconomical to repair on my way out.

I agree, destroying houses is such a waste. Something similar happened when Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but the demolition was planned and carried out by government crews. I’d like to understand what the rationale was.

I wonder, since Azerbaijan had the upper hand territorially in this peace agreement, could they have offered to give back a small bit of land in return for a promise that the infrastructure elsewhere would be left intact?

Then again, maybe it wouldn’t have worked, as (from what I understand) the Armenians are still deeply embittered at the destruction of thousands of ancient grave markers by Azerbaijan in 2003-2009.

Monumental loss: Azerbaijan and ‘the worst cultural genocide of the 21st century’

Anyway, here’s a map showing how much land the Armenians lost in this year’s peace agreement. They lost a lot.

I see nothing wrong with destroying property that is being stolen away from you. To me it is like a bank putting a dye pack in a sack of bills when being robbed. “If I can’t have it, neither can you.”

What I find problematic is the method. Arson is very dangerous. You can’t really control fire, where it spreads and how quickly. If you burn your house down and the fire spreads to your neighbors who haven’t moved out yet, how moral is that? Is it worth risking the lives of innocent people, possibly your friends and family, out of spite?

Sat the earth, destroy the sewers. Burn it all and leave nothing for the invaders.

You do realize the Armenians invaded and “stole” it first, yes? This is just the latest tit-for tat in this particular nasty ethnic conflict, but the land being reclaimed are areas that were part of Azerbaijan before Armenia took them back in the early 1990’s. The Azeris suffered the worst of the ethnic cleansing back then, though neither side were angels. This is petty ethnic nationalism at its worst, basically another version of the Balkan Wars.

Yet if it was my house, all I would care about is that someone is taking my home away; something I personally earned and maintained and invested my life into, regardless of the sins of my nation.

That map zooms in on the disputed territory. Taking the entirely of the two countries in view, that “a lot” is debatable.

Armenia is getting to keep a chunk of occupied Azeri territory. I’m not sure it’s fair to say that only Armenia is losing territory here.

Arguably the Armenians are the invaders. There isn’t a clear good side and bad side here.

Sure and if the native American tribe that the US stole the land my house is on was ceded the deed to my property for the USs past deeds I’d burn this place to the ground and salt the earth too. 20 years is certainly long enough for the people currently living there to feel ownership of their home ad to be pissed it they lost it.

I agree there is lots of bad on both sides but burning your home down on the way out the door doesn’t seem extreme to me. The government gave up the land not what I’ve poured my blood sweat and tears into.

It’s one thing to be angry. It’s another thing to sabotage another human being’s ability to live.

Salting the earth doesn’t impact another human being’s ability to live. They are currently alive and not living on my land and they could stay where they are with no impact to their life. At worst salting the earth would make it so that if they chose to live on the land taken from me their ability to live would be impacted. Not every piece of land is habitable and if you chose to move somewhere inhabitable you’ve screwed up.

That’s a pretty fucked up point of view. I can’t even address it on its merits. We’re talking about other human beings who are arguably in the same situation that you are.

Huh, How are the people moving onto my land in the same situation as someone being forced off their land. At most, they were forced off their land 26 years ago and have resettled into a new life that they are uprooting having them continue their current life isn’t fucked up.

I’m OK with someone destroying their own home (and only their own), but salting the earth is a whole different thing I can’t be having with.

One is an act against your own property, the other is an attack on the common weal. It’s not your land. Unless you called it from the vasty deep yourself.

I admit that I didn’t take the comment about salting the earth literally. I just assumed it was making the home unusable.