by Andrew Walden
Did a secret Hawaii Gubernatorial Proclamation contribute to renewed warfare between Azerbaijan and Armenia?
Headlines like: “U.S. State of Hawaii condemns the Khojaly Massacre” exploded across the Azeri press in mid-February. According to the Azerbaijan State News Agency, “The Governor of the U.S. State of Hawaii David Ige signed a Special Message condemning the Khojaly Massacre, which was committed by Armenia’s armed forces against the Azerbaijani civilians in 1992.”
But the February 26 pro-Azeri proclamation does not appear on the Governor’s webpage.
The Governor’s Ceremonial Proclamations page states: “Proclamations issued by Governor Ige will be posted here in chronological order of receipt.” The Guidelines to Request a Proclamation include: “… proclamations…are not to be used for profit, commercial advertising or promotion, or advancing a political agenda.”
Hawai’i Free Press asked Ige Spokesperson Cindy McMillian why the proclamation is missing. She did not reply to our query.
Azeri and Armenian interests give campaign contributions in Hawaii. For several years the Islamic Gulen Cult, allied to the Azeri government, has been offering Hawaii politicians free junkets to Turkey and Azerbaijan.
Keeping the pot stirred, and the contributions flowing, the Hawaii House of Representatives March 29 approved HR167, a pro-Armenian resolution “Honoring and Recognizing the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.”
(UPDATE: Not to be outdone in the rush for campaign cash, the Honolulu Council April 20 adopted Resolution 16-78 in support of Armenian control of Nagorno-Karabakh. It's not news in Hawaii, but it is big news in Armenia.)
While resolutions and proclamations such as these may seem to be a cheap and easy way to score campaign contributions, they can take a toll.
Azerbaijan is ranked as the 5th most censored country on Earth by the Committee to Protect Journalists. In response to local media hype over the Hawaii House resolution, the US Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan March 31 was obliged to explain that US foreign policy is determined by the Federal government, not the states and the “US does not recognize ‘Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.’"
Two days later the region erupted in war. The LA Times April 19 reports, “More than a hundred soldiers, volunteers and civilians have been killed this month, mostly during four days of intense fighting that involved artillery, tanks and heavy weapons.” Al-Jazeera April 3 describes the conflict as a proxy battle between Turkey and Russia. The New York Times April 7 warns: “Solve the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Before It Explodes.”
Too bad Hawaii’s politicians are more interested in lining their own pockets.