I lost all faith in the American democratic system and its media when President Bush initiated a false war against Iraq and got away with it. This time, the U.S. media and Bush Administration are lying about a different war — the one between Georgia and Russia. To understand the complex nature of this conflict, a brief review of history is necessary.
Throughout its long history, Georgia, the country, has had difficult relations with Russia and its other neighbors, including the ethnically different Ossetians. Georgians and Ossetians did not always get along. In one instance, Georgian leaders asked the Russian tsar for permission to enslave the Ossetians. The answer was no. During the Russian Revolution, Georgia seceded from the Russian Empire and sided with Mensheviks (tsarists), thereby starting a conflict with the Ossetians and killing about 5,000 of them until Bolsheviks intervened and forcefully returned Georgia under Russia’s control. During Stalin’s rule, Georgia (Stalin’s homeland) was assigned some of the Ossetian and Abkhazian territory together with their historic inhabitants. As the Soviet Union began to disintegrate in the early 1990s, Georgia declared its independence without any resistance from Russia. However, when South Ossetia and Abkhazia tried to declare their independence from Georgia, they were greeted by a brutal military campaign aimed at keeping these tiny regions under Georgian control. Unfortunately for Georgia, it had to live with their de-facto independence due to strong resistance from these breakaway regions and Russia’s intervention. Long story short, Russia became the only third party peacekeeper, albeit a biased one, in this conflict until now.
In 2008, the United States and Europe recognized Kosovo’s independence from Serbia despite Russian and Serbian opposition. Russia warned the United States that this is a dangerous precedent that could ignite the old conflict between Georgians and Ossetians, who might seek independence according to the Kosovo’s scenario. Meanwhile, Georgia being lead by charismatic, pro-Western president Mr. Saakashvilli sought to join NATO and the EU. However, Georgia’s unresolved territorial disputes with South Ossetia and Abkhazia formally precluded its membership in NATO. Mr. Saakashvilli could resolve this conflict in two ways: (a) officially recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia’s de-facto independence from Georgia or (b) drive out or physically exterminate all Ossetians and Abkhazians because they would never again want to live peacefully under Georgia’s control.