Tag Archives: Saakashvili

Georgia e Russia: A Che Punto Siamo?

E’ passato un mese dall’attacco georgiano contro la popolazione civile nell’Ossezia del Sud. A che punto siamo? Ecco un breve sunto ricavato da varie fonti (Il Sole 24 Ore, The Economist, International Herald Tribune/The New York Times, Spiked Online, Il Corriere della Sera, Il Riformista, The Globe and Mail):

  1. La Russia: e’ debole, e insicura. Ha “bisogno” di dimostrare di non essere tale, ma poi manda i soldati a combattere senza neanche un paio di stivali decenti. Con i suoi forti problemi interni, e un deciso complesso di inferiorita’, e’ sostanzialmente isolata, costantemente con soli due passi di vantaggio rispetto alla crisi piu’ nera. Per quanto?
  2. La Georgia: forse e’ una democrazia, forse no. Sicuramente, non e’ una democrazia solida. C’e’ troppa voglia di “menare le mani”. Mutatis mutandis, e’ la Russia del Caucaso: stessa debolezza, stesso complesso di inferiorita’, etc etc
  3. La UE: ha fatto una ottima figura con la diplomazia del cessate-il-fuoco, solo per poi ritornare alla stupida normalita’ degli interessi nazionali. La sua somma e’ decisamente minore delle parti, rendendola vulnerabile e dipendente, nonostante le sue dimensioni e ricchezza.
  4. Gli USA: la dipendenza da petrolio ha ridotto l’unica Superpotenza a uno stanco fallimento. Troppi nelle stanze dei bottoni pensano di giocare alla Guerra Fredda, e di vendicarsene venti anni dopo che e’ finita.
  5. Il Resto del Mondo: orfani di una politica USA seria, tentennano aspettandone le conseguenze, tutte da vedere.
  6. Svariati commentatori: tutti impegnati nel gioco al rilancio nello sport dell’equivalenza storica. Chi dice che e’ il 1968, chi il 1956, chi il 1938. Io propendo per il 1919. In ogni caso, circolano pericolose e perniciose idee interventiste, in un caos di ideali senza fini.

Georgia and Russia: Where Are We?

It’s been a month since the first Georgian attack against the civilian population of South Ossetia. Where are we? Here a brief summary, based on various sources (Il Sole 24 Ore, The Economist, International Herald Tribune / The New York Times, Spiked Online, Il Corriere della Sera, Il Riformista, The Globe and Mail):

  1. Russia: weak and insecure. It “needs” to prove itself otherwise, but then fighting soldiers don’t even have a decent pair of boots. With its strong internal problems, and a strong inferiority complex, it is pretty much isolated, constantly just two steps ahead of a crisis. For how long?
  2. Georgia: maybe a democracy, maybe not. Surely, it is not a solid democracy. There is too much desire for a fight. It is like a “Russia of the Caucasus”: same weakness, same inferiority complex, etc. etc.
  3. The EU: it has done well with its cease-fire diplomacy, only to revert to type and to its abundancy of stupid national interests. The whole is less than the sum of the parts indeed, making it vulnerable and dependent, despite its size and wealth.
  4. The USA: its own dependency on oil has reduced the one and only Superpower to a tired, failed has-been. Too many people in the control rooms still play like in the Cold War, and still think of revenge despite having won twenty years ago.
  5. The Rest of the World: orphans of a serious U.S. policy, they move back and forth waiting to see what the consequences will be.
  6. Several commentators: all involved in the game of historical equivalence. Some say it’s 1968 all over again, some point 1956, others to 1938. I say it’s 1919. In any case, I have read quite a few pernicious, interventionist ideas, in a chaos of ideals without purpose.

Russia Bashing And The Game of Historical Equivalence

(Letter sent to the International Herald Tribune)

It is the international political game for August 2008 to find an equivalent for the situation between Russia and Georgia after the recent conflict. For example, William Kristol has referred to the 1924 Georgian uprising against the USSR (“Will Russia get away with it?“, IHT, Aug 11).

President Mikhail Saakashvili has not been the only one comparing Georgia with Czechoslovakia in 1938 (James Traub’s “Between Georgia and Russia, tinder is lit“, IHT, Aug 10) although he has gone as far as mentioning Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939, the Soviet crackdown in Prague in 1968 and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 (AP’s “Georgian President’s Russia claims raise eyebrows“, IHT, Aug 14).

Today, Gunnar Hökmark, European Parliamentarian, and Johnny Munkhammar, both of the European Enterprise Institute, suggest “the paralles with Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968” may be “not that far-fetched” (Letters, IHT, Aug 25), whilst Simon Sebag Montefiore makes some eery references to that greatest Russian of Georgian origin, Iosif Dzhugashvili (also known as Stalin) (“In the Shadow of the Red Czar“, Aug 25),

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I am afraid most of these commentaries suffer from the tunnel vision that afflicts the victims of their own propaganda.

The root crisis in Georgia has been lasting since 1991, and it is about defining the borders of a newly-minted independent State irrespectfully of the ethnic composition of its regions.

The real parallel should therefore be with the Versailles conference of 1919, that literally re-drew the map of the world after World War I, nominally in the name of peoples’ self-determination but practically in light of narrow-minded goals mostly by France and the United Kingdom.

Far from being given the freedom and the new world order promised by US President Woodrow Wilson, many peoples found themselves the losers in the great game of the Powers, including the Chinese, what are now VietNam and Laos, the Kurds, the Palestinians, the vast majority of Africans. Others (such as the Albanians) were luckier, and got to get or keep their independence, again due to mere geopolitical calculations and not out of the liberal values purportedly championed by the West.

Once again, in 2008 in the democratic minds of US and European Union politicians some populations are “in” (eg the Kosovars, the Georgians) and others are “out” (the Ossetians, the Abkhazians).

If anybody can find any logic behind that, apart from political machinations between Powers, it would be nice to hear.

And by the way…Mr Sebag Montefiore sees Putin as the heir of Stalin, with the latter’s ghost almost trying “to get out” of his tomb. Why no mention of the real culprit then, the man that has done most to inspire Russia to become a World Power?

And not, I do not mean Czar Peter the Great, rather his enemy of 1709, that King Charles XII of Sweden that managed to lose his own Empire, against Peter, at the Battle of Poltava, thereby kick-starting almost overnight the dream of an Imperial Russia.

Hypothesis Russia

More details are coming out about the reasons behind the war in South Ossetia between Georgia and Russia. Beyond the rhetoric (here’s a shameful commentary by The New York Times), it appears clear that Saakashvili wanted a fight, but Putin/Medvedev were also fully ready for war.

Anyway I look at it though, I can only think of one way to explain the whole situation…and that involves having one or more Russian agents in the upper echelons of the Tbilisi government.

The Russian victory on all fronts, military, political, diplomatic is so complete, it can only have been carefully prepared for months in the past.

I was kidding when suggesting that Saakashvili be a friend of Russia. Or was I?

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By the way…from Wikipedia, a map of ethnic groups in the Caucasus. Looks like more than one border should be redrawn…

In Georgia, la Russia Vince a Mani Basse

E se il Presidente Mikheil Saakashvili della Georgia, fosse un agente russo?

Sicuramente con la sua ancora inspiegabile decisione di muovere le truppe nella Ossezia del Sud proprio nel giorno dei giochi olimpici, Saakashvili e’ diventato la cosa migliore che sia accaduta alla Russia dal giorno in cui il prezzo del petrolio ha cominciato a salire. Quale amico di Putin e Medvedev sarebbe mai stato capace di realizzare una serie cosi’ impressionante di risultati pro-russi:

  • Dimostrare che la Russia è la Potenza che comanda nel Caucaso
  • Dimostrare che, nonostante i paroloni, gli Stati Uniti e la NATO non hanno alcun desiderio di aiutare un qualsiasi “alleato” che si trovi nella situazione sbagliata contro la Russia
  • Ripristinate l’orgoglio militare russo, con una rapida e completa vittoria, inclusa una apparentemente inarrestabile invasione della parte della Georgia nominalmente controllata da Tbilisi
  • Permettere al Governo di Mosca di risplendere di gloria diplomatica e magnanimità, rifiutandosi di portare il conflitto alla sua logica conclusione (la occupazione di Tbilisi)

Ora che Saakashvili ha raggiunto i suoi obiettivi, forse potra’ farsi da parte e permettere a un nuovo governo filo-russo di inaugurare una costituzione federale per la Georgia / Abkhazia / Ossezia meridionale…

In Georgia, Game, Set and Match for Russia

Is President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia a Russian agent?

Surely with his still-unexplained decision to move troops into South Ossetia on the day of the Olympics, he’s become the best thing that happened to Russia since the day oil prices started going up. What friend of Putin and Medvedev would ever be able to accomplish such an impressive series of pro-Russian feats:

  • Demonstrating that Russia is the Power in charge in the Caucasus
  • Showing that for all its rhetoric, the USA and NATO have no willingness to help whatever “ally” finds itself in the wrong situation against Russia
  • Restoring Russian pride in its military, with a swift and comprehensive victory, including a seemingly-unstoppable invasion of Tbilisi-controlled Georgia
  • Allowing the Moscow government to bask in diplomatic glory and magnanimity, refusing to bring the conflict to its logical conclusion (the occupation of Tbilisi)

Now that Saakashvili has achieved its aims, perhaps he should just gracefully step down and let a new, pro-Russian government draft a federal constitution for Georgia/Abkhazia/South Ossetia.