By Damian Lataan
For many the war in Georgia may have seemed as though it came from nowhere; as if it just suddenly erupted without any warning. And, if one were to believe what the pro-western mainstream media are telling us, one could be forgiven for believing that it did. The US and their western allies have taken full advantage of this anomaly and turned it to their advantage for propaganda purposes. They have been busy telling the world that the Georgians have been overwhelmed by the Russian ‘bully boys’ to their north when in reality the Russians were and are merely reacting to the murderous bully boy tactics of the Georgian army and their supporting band of US and Israeli mercenary thugs that ruthlessly attacked the civilian population of south Ossetia in an effort to force them to give up their demands for autonomy.
In fact the tensions in and around Georgia, once part of the Soviet Union, have been simmering for years.
The Georgian state is made up of many ethnic groupings many of whom feel more comfortable being part of Russia than having to be subservient to Georgia. Over the years, since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the birth of present day Georgia in 1991, two regions of Georgia in particular, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, have evolved, against the wishes of the central Georgian government, into semi-autonomous regions whose status has been protected and supported by Russia. This has caused massive resentment from the Georgians who insist that these regions come entirely under Georgian control.
Every now and then the undercurrent of animosities between the Georgians and the Russians over these two regions well up to the surface and become a source of potential conflict. In the past Russia, simply by twitching a military muscle, which, if push really came to shove, could flatten Georgia in a flash, usually has seen an end to any further serious posturing by the Georgians.
As well as the existence of these animosities, the old Cold War animosities that existed between the US and her western allies and the Russians still linger on long after what most people believed was an end to the Cold War in 1991. As the War on Terrorism replaced the Cold War as a vehicle for US imperialism in its projection of hegemony into a resources-rich region of our world, so some of those resentments have re-emerged as the new political battles for increasingly diminishing resources intensify. The old East-West polarisations of the post-Second World War are actually beginning to replicate themselves almost as it was in the Cold War days. The all-important difference this time, however, is the new places where the East meets the West – and Georgia is one of those places.
Georgia has recently been making strong moves to become part of NATO and has ambitions to become part of the EU. Russia is not very keen, and, given that the US would like to put their anti-missile shield system into NATO countries to protect them from the so-called threat of Iranian nuclear weapons, understandably so, to limit the number of NATO nations it has on its doorstep. As a result of Georgian aspirations about becoming part of NATO, the Georgians have become close allies of the US and the West and also of Israel who have ties to the small but influential Jewish community in Georgia with some of those members having close links to Israel being in the Georgian government including Georgia’s Integration Minister Temur Yakobashvili.
It was because of their strong relationship with the US that the Georgians considered it safe to have another go at asserting its will over the breakaway regions in the belief that the Russians wouldn’t dare to counter any Georgian moves against South Ossetia with Russian military action and, if they did, the US and the West would immediately come to their aid in the event of a Russian backlash against Georgian moves into South Ossetia. Certainly, Georgia would not have made any such move into South Ossetia without the backing of the US. It now seems, though, that both the US and Georgia have badly misjudged the Russian reaction and the US are unable to move. If they do, it will be the first time that the US and Russia have ever directly confronted each other in face to face open warfare – and we all know where that would eventually lead. As it is, American ‘advisors’ (mercenaries), have in all likelihood been in combat with Russian troops in this conflict as have Israeli ‘instructors’ (mercenaries).
The US and, to a lesser extent, the Israelis have painted themselves into a corner. Neither can afford to upset the Russians too much because they need Russian support over their stance on Iran’s so-called nuclear weapons program. Open hostility toward Russia, a veto-wielding power in the UN Security Council, would mean the end of UN support for any moves toward a UN endorsement of further sanctions against Iran. While Israel could pre-emptively attack Iran and would get support from the US in doing so, without UN supported sanctions in place there could be no reasonable casus belli for such an attack. (With sanctions in place, Israel could always claim that sanctions aren’t working and attack anyway.)But if the UN were to deny sanctions because of a Russian veto this would be tantamount to the Russians saying it does not believe the Iranians need to have sanctions against them because they do not have a weapons program and, since nobody would know better than the Russians about what programs the Iranians do have in place, they are, after all, the main suppliers of the Iranian nuclear equipment, then bang goes any casus belli the Israelis might feel they can use.
The geo-political reality, as we can see, is a far cry from the propaganda and rhetoric the US and their western allies are trying to put out in the mainstream media. And in this day and age of blogs and the internet which is often nowadays keeping one step ahead of the mainstream media, the propaganda and rhetoric is becoming increasingly more transparent in its blatancy.
Damian Lataan is an aeronautical Engineer and Historian. http://lataan.blogspot.com/
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