I submitted this piece for publication as an op-ed article 9 August, but it was not accepted for publication. So I thought, it would be good idea to publish it at least in my blog, once I spent some time writing it.
Following its three consecutive meetings Thursday 7 August, Friday 8 August and Saturday 9 August UN Security Council failed to take action even as simple as calling on all sides to stop fighting in South Ossetia. It is universally acknowledged, that Georgia is normally easily controlled by Washington and South Ossetia by Moscow. New polarization of the world powers apparently prevents them from taking decisive action – some of them seem to be eager to win what could be described almost as an all-out war either directly or through their proxies. The direct result of this polarization is more senseless deaths of humans, which take us back to the bad old days of the Cold War. This time, of course, it does not bear ideological divides, lack of flow of information, restrictions on movement of people and capital etc. Yet it is just as horrible to allow to kill people when you have the power to stop fighting in the matter of minutes.
Hostilities started 1 of August with exchanges of fire between the Georgian and South Ossetian forces. This gradually led Georgian president “to take measures to install law and peace to protect safety of the people, living in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone”. This euphemism is strikingly similar to those that Russian officials used in their own time, when they were suppressing Chechen resistance in the Russian North Caucasus, with large scale military offense, habitually sparing no civilians. So I wonder, is the West promoting another kind of Chechnya, when it calls on Russians to withdraw from South Ossetia?
It is obvious to any observer, that South Ossetia, as well, as other Georgian breakaway territory of Abkhazia, has been used by Russia to meddle in Georgian affairs. This includes ardent wish of Russians not to allow Georgia to enter NATO and progress toward other western institutions. Bearing in mind, that Russia is enormously more powerful, than Georgia, a progressive democratic person quickly fills in the remaining of a picture of democratic, freedom-loving Georgians being abused by authoritarian Russia. This perhaps is not far from truth, but there is also another true, that other nation, Ossetians, who are far smaller than Georgians and not less vulnerable being constantly attacked by this democratic and freedom loving folk.
Since Georgian president Mikheil Saakashivili came to power after the rose revolution in 2003, the country has made significant advances in fighting corruption, increasing transparency of government institutions, economic development. However, one only can regret, when president Saakashivili supplies with manifest lies the world community, when speaking on CNN and BBC. In particular he says, Georgia had no choice, but advance on the rebel separatists. I am afraid, he quite consciously made this choice of going to war with separatist forces, backed by Russia. Mr Saakashvili consciously chose his blunt rhetoric and hoped it would be shouldered not by Georgia, but by the US.
Present conflict between South Ossetians and Georgians goes back to the last days of Soviet Union at the end of 1980s. Initially there were two episodes in which Russian army left South Ossetia defenseless before Georgians and this is still remembered by Ossetians. However, at the end Russia brokered peace agreement in 1992 following a massacre of Ossetian refugees, that were killed on their way to North Ossetia, that is adjacent to South Ossetia and part of Russia.
Feeble peace process was interrupted in 2004 when the new energetic Georgian president Saakashvili decided to “unfreeze” frozen conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Persistent tensions that have been in place since then led to a full scale war at the end in 2008. Georgian president certainly succeeded in letting destructive forces loose, but it is unclear, whether this will lead to a more stable peace and how many people will die in order to achieve it.