Campaign Letters for Artsakh’s Independence Recognition
Posted on March. 31. 2021
”All I need is a sheet of paper and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Z. S. Andrew Demirdjian
Armenia has been a civilization that has
endured many centuries in a hostile environment. During its long checkered
history, it has gone through many ups and downs. In its heydays, it has even
established a great empire from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean. Unlike
most of its contemporaries, it has kept its resilience in bad times to continue
to cling to a precarious existence.
Armenia is reeling from a devastating defeat at the hands of “Turkobaijan” (Turkey and Azerbaijan
as Jerry Tutunjian has aptly coined the word) aggression of the September 27,
2020 unprovoked, surprise attack characterized by breaking many laws of
engagement in combat.
coalition of Turkey, Azerbaijan, ISIS jihadists, Syrian and Libyan mercenaries,
Pakistani volunteers to name a few has left Artsakh in a total disarray in most
important aspects of life –economically, socially, politically, and
the rebirth of Artsakh, three pressing national projects should be
perused concurrently to emerge from its debilitating conditions:
I. Recovery – Returning of the citizens to
the comfort of their homes, building their
infrastructure, and healing the wounds of the environment among other important considerations.
II. Mobilization of the nation – Arming
for the inevitable future war against the
imperialist Turkobaijan, acquiring arms by local production and through imports from China, training of our
young men and woman including the
Armenian Diaspora volunteer soldiers for a standing army. To engage the enemy next time, drones, jet fighters and
other engines of war are
essential additions for the Armenian army.
III. Recognition – Campaigning for the
recognition of Artsakh’s independence. Let
us not fall victim of the delusion that we would prevail over the enemy next time around without a serious
preparation by claiming that we are not
defeated when in fact we have been humiliated on account of Armenia’s self-destructive corruption,
ego-centric leaders, complacency,
and Diaspora’s passivity.
In my article titled “Persuasive Appeals for Artsakh’s Recognition of Independence” that was published recently in the USA Armenian Life Magazine (Issue #1773, March 19-23, 2021), I have stressed the importance of campaigning on behalf of Artsakh’s recognition of independence.
In this article, I shall take an
example of a letter to show how to capitalize on these appeal strategies to
persuade people to acknowledge or ask their own representatives to recognize
the independence of Artsakh
Many communication experts of today
consider Aristotle’s three pillars of persuasion to have extensively influenced
the scientific communications field.
The need to get sovereign countries
recognize the independence of the Republic of Artsakh cannot be overemphasized
since Turkobaijan’s genocidal duo are intent on swallowing up the rest of
Artsakh with iron resolve.
One of the most important defense
strategies will be to work on getting countries in the West to accept Artsakh
as a free, independent, and sovereign state for its ultimate survival in its
present hostile environment.
Let us take an example to gain an
appreciation of Aristotle’s art of persuasion. What would be the most effective
way to appeal for assistance, for help in recognizing Artsakh’s independence?
Let us base our strategy on Ethos,
Pathos, and Logos, the three persuasive appeals Aristotle coined them in his
seminal “Rhetoric” work.
Ethos (i.e., the appeal to
ethics/credibility), refers to the effort to convince your audience or reader
of your credibility or character. In other words, before you can convince an
audience to do something for you or to accept anything you say, they have to
accept you as a creditable, trustworthy source.
Pathos (i.e., the appeal to emotions),
refers to your effort to persuade your audience by appealing to their feelings.
Your audience will be rather more receptive to being persuaded by someone with
whom they can identify. The Greek word pathos refers both to
“suffering” and “experience”. In using pathos, you need to make the
audience feel an emotion in order to act.
Research shows that pathos is most effective when used in the introduction and conclusion of your letter or speech.
For example, in Artsakh’s recognition
of independence, you may cite how Azerbaijan launched an unprovoked sneak
attack on Artsakh and began shelling and bombing civilian quarters and
infrastructure with killer drones, phosphorus gas, loitering munitions, etc.
all in contravention of international law. Thousands have become displaced (Appeal
Logos (i.e., the appeal to logic),
refers to the effort to convince your audience by using logic and reason. To
promote logos, effective arguments should make use of testimonials, surveys and
other supporting details to back up your claims and positions.
Try to avoid information overload
taking place by overdoing with your facts and figures.
Research shows that of the three
appeals, logos is the most effective strategy to use for everything being
equal. As for the ethos and pathos, both are
In addition to the three pillars of
persuasion, there is the most powerful notion of “appealing to one’s
self-interest”. This one, of course, falls into the category of
logos. If you need to turn to an ally or
someone else for help, avoid reminding him of your past assistance and good deeds.
Instead, find something in your request or in your alliance with him, that will
benefit him, and emphasize it out of all proportion.
When we approach
President Joseph Biden, for example, and ask for recognition of Artsakh, we
must not forget to explain how Artsakh’s independence will be good for
“America” (e.g., a new market, an ally in the south Caucuses, US will
be hailed as a true democracy that upholds self-determination, etc.) and
President Biden will be remembered as a true friend of those fighting for their
freedom. We have to offer a benefit for the exchange.
on scientific research findings, when asking for help, appeal to people’s
self-interest, never to their mercy or gratitude alone. In asking for help do not dwell on the past.
is a compelling reason for people to respond positively to propositions of
mutual interest. So, always think of reciprocity when you want someone to do
something for you unless you are dealing with a close family member or a bosom
I were asked to call or write a letter on behalf of the recognition of
Artsakh’s independence, here is what I would say: (Note: For the sake of explanatory reasons, this will be a
long letter to elaborate on the appeals and their sequence used for persuasion).
Sen. Kevin Roseburg (fictitious)
Dear Senator Roseburg:
I am writing to you on a matter of mutual
importance. The Republic of Artsakh’s (Nagorno-Karabakh’s) democracy is in the
balance and it requires to be saved with your assistance. During your nine-year
tenure in Congress as senator, I have always known you to be a champion of
democracy. On account of your dedication to objectivity, you have held key
senate positions. For example, in 2008, you voted for the independence of
Kosovo despite being pressured to veto it. As a member of your constituency, I
have always respected your fair and just decisions (appeal to ethos that I am
current with the senator’s past political behavior).
As you are already aware, the de facto
Republic of Artsakh was subjected to an unprovoked surprise attack on September
27, 2020 by the combined military forces of Azerbaijan, Turkey, ISIS jihadists,
Syrian and Libyan mercenaries, Pakistani volunteers to mention the leading
ones. The result was death and destruction of
5000Armenian soldiers, thousands of civilian men, women, and children
became homeless, including the loss of 30 percent of their ancestral territory
by using weapons in contravention of international law (appeal to pathos for
people are fundamentally emotional creatures).
As you well know, the government of the
United States was founded on the bedrock of democracy. To free the European
immigrants from the repressive colonial rule of the British Empire, the
American colonists chose to declare independence based on self-determination
just like the indigenous people of Artskah had to do in 1988.. After eight
years of warfare, colonists succeeded in achieving independence in 1776 with
the help of the French forces and finances. In all probability, without the
external assistance, the Americans would have lost their quest for independence
against the well-trained and well-equipped British soldiers (appeal to logos).
Artsakh now is facing a turning point in
its self-declaration of independence from the untenable yoke of the Azerbaijani
government’s regime. Like the United States in the 1700s, Artsakh needs
assistance to continue with its struggles for survival and freedom to uphold
democracy in a hostile environment. Therefore, the Armenian people around the
world will be thankful for your advocacy to get the United States government
recognize the independence of Artsakh, which is currently in the throes of
losing its ancestral homeland and democracy (appeal to pathos).
Your reelection to the senate begins on
September 28, 2021. The Armenian community volunteers will get in gear to make
it a success for you by offering their assistance. In recognition of your kind
and historical assistance to a maligned little democratic nation, your name
will be inscribed in a Golden Book to be on display at the City Hall for
posterity the names of those who were champions of democracy like you by aiding
a small country like Artsakh to remain free and democratic against all odds
(appeal to logos/self-interest).
As always, I thank you for your
contributions to the United States and for being a staunch advocate of
democracy around the world. I especially would like to acknowledge your
solidarity with the Armenian people and for your kind assistance for the
survival of Artsakh as a democratic republic (appeal to pathos).
Very truly yours,
note, this is a long letter. I am using it to show the sequence of using appeals.
Additionally, the above example of the letter shows the need to use all three
persuasive appeal strategies (ethos, logos, and pathos), including the idea of
the beginning, after establishing your credibility as a trustworthy character
to make your readers/listeners relate to you (ethos), use logos (logic) to
argue and build your points. Finally, finish up with pathos (the emotional
And please do not forget the age-old wisdom:
Self-interest, not self- sacrifice, even not of rousing of sympathy would have
the power of persuasion alone to get someone to do an important favor for you
by exposing himself to the likelihood of criticism or retaliation from your
opponent or adversary.
success of the three pillars of persuasion is predicated as well on the concept
of Kairos (an ancient Greek word
meaning the right, critical, or opportune moment). The opportune time to engage
in the persuasion process is now more than ever. For Artsakh, the window of
opportunity is open now, it is just the right time to campaign for its
recognition as a democratic republic. Its story is still fresh in the minds of
the concerned members of the world community.
world has come to know that this tiny de fact republic of 150, 000 brave people
were subjected to the cruel and brutal onslaughts of Turkey and Azerbaijan. One
of the unintended consequences of the second Artsakh War is that during the
infamous 44-day war, Nagorno-Karabakh was put on the map by the journalists and
war correspondents. Most of the Western world is indignant about the nefarious
assistance of Turkey in this war.
have waited too long, over 100 years, to get the US Senate recognize the
Armenian Genocide. Before Artsakh’s situation becomes history, we should make
sure its independence is recognized especially by those countries that have
also recognized the Armenian Genocide. Let us keep Russia as Armenia’s friend,
but try to build our own strength to depend on our shoulders in facing national
The enmity between Armenia and
Azerbaijan is extreme. Armenians can no longer live under the latter’s
oppressive and repressive rule. The alternative fork in the road is to enlist
the talents of the Diaspora to the enterprise of ensuring Artsakh’s freedom,
independence, and sovereignty. Let
us ride on the momentum Artsakh gained from the international press coverage of
the war with Azerbaijan and Turkey, especially for being brutally treated by
Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s allied forces. Like numbers, words have power; they
can move mountains. Instead
of glorifying defeat, we shall be able to celebrate much-coveted victory if we
get prepaid to face the foe.