A reply to EDITORIAL: 'Bulldogging Georgia' - The Washington Times (22 Oct. 2009)
The article describes Russia’s ”occupation “ of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, thereby naively accepting the Georgian argument that treats them as parts of Georgia. This prejudges the issue and presents the American readership with a simplistic conclusion about a problem in the far-distant Caucasus, which few in the West can probably locate on a map, let alone properly understand.
No doubt, it is a difficult lesson to learn that it was Georgian troops who crossed the Georgian-Abkhazian border along the River Ingur when they invaded Abkhazia on 14 August 1992 to fight a 13-month war to subjugate us Abkhazians. The Abkhazian nation survived despite the attempt of the Georgian establishment to rid itself of our nation for the impudence we had shown in refusing to adopt Georgian nationality.
David Bakradze, Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, shamelessly plays with words and seeks to take advantage of his readers' poor knowledge of Caucasian history in this attempt to hoodwink them.
Russia has already recognized Georgia without Abkhazia and South Ossetia. We are all completely satisfied with the new reality, for both we and our South Ossetian friends have finally released ourselves from the Georgian yoke.
What can possibly lie behind the United States' blind determination to maintain the territorial integrity of Georgia within its Soviet frontiers, frontiers which were set by Joseph Stalin, Georgian national? What aspect of the Georgian government's authoritarianism or the anti-minority nationalism that has so long scarred that country, which nevertheless manages to appeal to its many Western visitors, can conceivably reflect American ideals?
Georgia extended in Stalin's time to absorb both those Abkhazians who had survived the Great Caucasian War with Russia in the XIX century, declining to flee to the Ottoman Empire for refuge, and the South Ossetians.
Mr. Bakradze presents a very superficial approach to the extremely serious and sensitive issues relating to the conflicts between Abkhazia or South Ossetia and the former Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia, which was forcibly put together in Stalin`s time and which was so unstable that it collapsed right after the disintegration of the USSR.
It is utterly reprehensible to suggest any parallelism between what is happening today in Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the wake of the events of August 2008 and the Berlin Wall, which for almost 30 years kept apart members of a single nation for the sake of a disgusting ideology.
We would respectfully remind both Mr. Bakradze and his readers of the recent EU Commission's report on the August 2008 fighting. The Report observed that Georgian troops had been deployed in Abkhazia's Kodor Valley (now back under Abkhazian control) in July 2006 in violation of the Moscow Agreement of May 1994; however, the Report signally failed to mention the quantity and nature of the ordinance stored there (for what purpose?) by the Georgian forces.
Such, then, might be the values to which Mr. Bakradze and his government adhere, but are they truly describable as “the same values" as those espoused by his American readers, who might hesitate to proclaim them to be "worth defending”?
Asida Chichba and Liudmila Agrba
Abkhaz Civil Society Activists