Saturday, August 16, 2008

Jahanshah Rashidian on Russian Georgian Incursion

This snip at Mideast Youth by Jahanshah Rashidian strikes me as a breath of fresh air. In today's world there seem to be no disinterested parties, but this comes as close as I have read to a disinterested analysis of these events.

Stalin designed Georgia current borders. Stalin, himself an Ossetian, combined Abkhaziya and half of Ossetia with Georgia and consciously dividing the people of Ossetia into two parts.

To solve this ethnic problem, Georgia decided to unite the two separated parts of South and North Ossetia, but region was never part of post-Soviet Georgia.

As long as Georgia was a part of the Soviet Union, all ethnic conflicts within the Soviet zone of “interests”, were not international issues. Yet, the issue emerged à la une after the dissolution of the USSR, when first in 1995 the two regions — Abkhazia and South Ossetia — became involved in conflicts with local separatists supported by Moscow. The issue ended in a de facto independence of South Ossetia from Georgia.

Yet, with a pro-US president in office, Georgia launched an assault earlier this month with artillery and rocket attacks on the separatists. Russia immediately reacted and showed the sharp claws of a polar bear. A much larger Russian army quickly crushed the Georgian assault. It is believed that the United States knew or even encouraged the Georgian attack. With the support of the US, Georgia hoped to annex the region.

If this conflict is to be resolved, only an international institution like the UN must intervene, not the US or NATO.

The US should now stay away from a new regional conflict, which is thousands of kilometers away from Washington. Because of its bad reputation in Iraq, stirring up internal problems in other countries, and its hunger for national resources of other countries, the Bush Administration does not have any lesson to teach to this part of the world with a totally different history and socio-economic background. Furthermore, there is nothing like “weapons of mass destruction” in this area.

In actuality, it is time to solve international problems through firm and reliable UN resolutions, rather than the bogus actions of world super-powers. It is obvious that the US, being the only power today with hegemonic desires, could generate further tension. The world is not going to sit and watch those self-baptised Yankee liberators in the Bush Administration try to impose their long outdated principles of “democracy” and “freedom”.

The world has not forgotten that in 1961 the US and USSR came to the brink of nuclear war when the USSR was determined to set up atomic missiles in the US’ backyard in Cuba. The Soviet move was in retaliation against US basing nuclear missiles in Turkey. Now we have the US — via NATO — again trying to further its military alliance in the Caucasuses.

It is not unreasonable to expect that Russia, rather than allowing events to continue down that road again, would act swiftly in self defence — probably in the same way the US would react. I wonder what the Russians would do if a similar thing happened in their backyard. While they are still a major powerful and have the legacy of once being the strongest military superpower, they would say and do almost anything and get away with it.

There is no evidence that Russia intends to occupy Georgia, overthrow its government and install a puppet government. The Western media has not been reporting properly and honestly about the issue, rather they are exaggerating the conflict just like during the Cold War. Georgia is not Poland of 1939-40, divided by a German-Soviet pact, nor have we the same monsters like Hitler and Stalin in the East and West.

There is a much stronger ground for Germany and France, with their relatively better tradition of democracy and a lesser ambition of hegemony, to act as intermediaries to help bring about a ceasefire and reduce tensions until both sides with the help of the UN can achieve the best resolution. Despite failure to form a united stance on how to respond to Russia’s military action in South Ossetia, Germany and France, because of their close relations with Russia, can play an important role to impede further escalation of violence.

I'm impressed. Jahanshah Rashidian blogs at

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