Not What You Might Think

Feb. 14, 2013 by Darius

Azerbaijan is trying to bill itself as a modern, progressive country.  It has invited pop stars to perform in the capital; nightclubs dot the Caspian seacoast.  It has pursued cultural and economic connections to the West.  (See http://notwhatyoumightthink.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/thinking-aloud-you-could-almost-feel-the-iranians-seething/)  But Azerbaijan should not be viewed as a friend of the West simply because it holds “desirable” views on Israel (supports) and Iran (doesn’t).  The US and its allies need to take a hard look at the complete picture of how Azerbaijan lines up with US values.

Most recently, an Azerbaijani political party announced that it would offer a reward of more than $12,000 to anyone who cut the ear off a 75-year-old man.  This man is Azerbaijani novelist Akram Aylisli.  What did Mr. Aylisli do to merit this response?  He wrote a novella that recounts Azerbaijani atrocities in the 1990s war with Armenia and portrays…

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