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Audi alteram partem

Georgia’s Trilogy of Tragedies Or A Reply to David L. Phillips, by George Hewitt

Hubris, Ate:, Nemesis (Arrogance, Madness, Nemesis) Georgia’s Trilogy of Tragedies (1. Zviad Gamsakhurdia, 2. Eduard Shevardnadze, 3. Mikheil Saak’ashvili) Or A Reply to David L. Phillips (pt. 2)

by George Hewitt, Akw'a, Apsny - 25 August 2008 

‘In [19]92, the Russian invasion bombed Sukhumi and other cities.’ Thus the Georgian president, Mikheil Saak’ashvili, in his attempt on 19th March 2008 to provide ‘information’ (recte misinformation) to The Atlantic Council of the UnitedStates about the Georgian-Abkhazian war (14th August 1992 to 30th September 1993), which began with Eduard Shevardnadze’s GEORGIAN troops killing those manning the border-post at the R. Ingur crossing and pouring into Abkhazia from the province of Mingrelia in Georgia proper. There are grounds for believing that Russian president Boris Yeltsin had actually given Shevardnadze the green light to take this step in the (mis)calculation that it would be a ‘short, victorious war’ (therebyuncannily anticipating his own parallel miscalculation in starting the first Chechen war in 1994). In fact, the Abkhazians along with their allies from their Near Eastern diaspora and North Caucasian volunteers organised by the Confederation of Mountain Peoples’ of the Caucasus under Yuri Shanibov fought determinedly to defend their ancestral homeland, and, despite losing 4% of their entire population resident in Abkhazia, ejected in ignominy those who had inflicted so much unnecessary suffering on their small republic.

On 29th July 2008 David L. Phillips produced a 76-page treatise under the rubric of the same Atlantic Council of the United States in which he twice states: ‘Theauthor strongly believes that aggression must not be rewarded.’ Reading thiss tatement, those familiar with the facts of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict would be forgiven for expecting to find Phillips advocating suitable measures to be taken against the Saak’ashvili regime, which (i) had introduced military forces into Abkhazia’s Upper K’odor Valley in the spring of 2006 in flagrant contravention ofthe peace-accords signed in Moscow in 1994 and (ii) had for some time been making bellicose noises about taking back the territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, an attempt which many anticipated after NATO’s questionable April-decision at Bucharest not to admit Georgia as long as it was still in dispute with Sukhum and Tskhinval – the proposal to admit Georgian should have been unceremoniouslybinned. But, no, the title of Phillips’ piece ‘Restoring Georgia’s Sovereignty in Abkhazia’ gives the game away – it is not Georgia but Russia that is judged to be the aggressor by the American commentator, and it is essentially measures against Russia that are advocated in the article. Whilst the Phillips’ document, aiming as it does to‘to prevent an escalation of violence’, would appear to have been overtaken by eventsin the wake of Georgia’s assault on Tskhinval while its residents slept on the night of the 7th August, it is nevertheless useful to examine the remarks and recommendations contained within it for the light it sheds on how certain observers view the problem that ‘democratic’ Georgia poses to the world-community and on the nature of the ill-conceived advice that has been fed to Saak’ashvili and his western-orientated ministers, advice which (coupled with the utterly irresponsible decision to arm Georgia to the teeth) cannot but have helped stoke the latest round of conflict, causingyet more bloodshed and disruption to the lives of perfectly innocent citizens on bothsides of the Georgian/South Ossetian divide. They deserve better, and it is how tosecure that better future that should be the focus of the world’s attention henceforth.

The full article in PDF can be downloaded by clicking here (212 Kb)

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