Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 50847
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2017/11/17 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
11/17   

2008/8/11-18 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:50847 Activity:nil
8/11    Analysis: roots of conflict between Georgia and Russia
        http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4498709.ece
        \_ This is an excellent insight. Thank you.
        \_ this is pretty straightforward actually:
           - s. ossetia is de facto independent and allied with Russia
           - georgia takes s. ossetia by force, pokes Russian Bear in eye
           - Russia steamrollers georgia, makes them pay
           - Dubya yammers helplessly
           \_ You forgot: US foreign policy encourages Georgia to think we've
              got their back, infuriating Russia and encouraging Georgia to
              take unnecessary risks.
              \_ Sounds like its Taiwan policy.  (This is unrelated to which
                 side of the Straight is right and which side is wrong.)
                 \_ Yes and no.  We paid attention whenever Taiwan's president
                    went too far and defused any potential crisis before things
                    got out of hand.
              \_ You would think that the Georgian president got the memo
                 titled "Subject: Don't invade S. Ossetia!"  Unless the U.S.
                 foreign policy team wasn't very clear about that ...
                 Me:  Condi?  Fucking things up AGAIN?  What?  Did you think
                 yer buddy GEORGE was going to catch this?  Didn't you do your
                 dissertation on the Soviet Union and satellite states?
                 \_ More likely, Condi gave Georgia the green light, just like
                    Bush I gave Saddam Hussein the green light to invade
                    Kuwait. Bushco is trying to stir things up here to give
                    McCain a chance. I wonder what Act II is going to be.
                    \_ I think your tinfoil hat is a little too tight.
                       \_ After Kissinger's secret meetings with the North
                          Vietnamese and Reagan's Iran-Contra stuff, I really
                          don't think so. There is historical precedent.
                    \_ Condi's green light to Georgia:
                       Please go ahead and take over S. Ossetia.  We support
                       your efforts to get bent over and assfucked by Russia.
2017/11/17 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
11/17   

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Cache (8192 bytes)
www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4498709.ece
US drawn in Many factors are involved in the present conflict but the central one is straightforward: the majority of the Ossetes living south of the main Caucasus range in Georgia wish to unite with the Ossetes living to the north, in an autonomous republic of the Russian Federation; and the Georgians, regarding South Ossetia as both a legal and an historic part of their national territory, refuse to accept this. Twice in the past century, when the empire to the north weakened and Georgia declared its independence, the southern Ossetes revolted against Georgian rule. It happened in 1918-20, between the collapse of the Russian empire and the Soviet Union's conquest of Georgia in 1921; and it happened again in our own time with the fall of the Soviet Union. In 1918-20, between 5,000 and 15,000 people died, depending on whose figures you believe. For the conflicts since 1990, the figure is about 4,000 and rising. Retreat and terror in face of Russian Army As the Soviet Union began to crumble in 1989, and Georgian nationalist moves for independence gathered pace, so too did Ossete nationalism and demands for separation from Georgia. The Ossete national movement was encouraged by the Soviet Government in an effort to exert pressure against Georgian independence. In November 1989 the Soviet assembly of the South Ossetian autonomous region passed a motion calling for union with North Ossetia. Thousands of Georgian nationalists marched on Tskhinvali, the South Ossetian capital, in protest but were blocked by Soviet forces. A year later, after the election in Georgia of a pro-independence government led by the extreme nationalist Zviad Gamsakhurdia, the same assembly declared South Ossetia a Soviet republic separate from Georgia. The Gamsakhurdia Government then sent thousands of Georgian armed police and nationalist militia into the region. These were fought to a standstill by local Ossete militia backed by Soviet Interior Ministry troops. I was in Georgia at the time, reporting for The Times, and could hardly have imagined that this obscure conflict would one day create a major international crisis. Tskhinvali was a typical grey Soviet Caucasian Nowheresville, of bleak, crumbling concrete offices, potholed roads and faceless compounds. The only colour I remember was on the uniforms of the Georgian fighters: one was wearing a blue and white bobble hat, another had made for himself the uniform of an officer in the Georgian forces of 1918-21. The Russian conscripts by contrast were not colourful at all: drab, demoralised and loathing the whole situation. They were, however, much better armed than the Georgians - and still are today. The conflict rumbled on for several years, with peaks of fighting interspersed with truces. When in 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed and Georgian independence (within the borders of the Georgian Soviet Republic, and therefore including South Ossetia and Abkhazia) was recognised by the international community, South Ossetia rejected this and continued to assert its independence. Georgia declared the South Ossete autonomous republic abolished. Russia has not recognised this, but Russian forces have remained as the de facto defenders of the South Ossetian separatist region. In 1996 the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) brokered an agreement whereby Russian and Georgian peacekeepers would patrol different sectors of the region. The OSCE remained until the Georgian Government of Eduard Shevardnadze, the former Communist leader, was overthrown in the Rose Revolution and replaced by the radical nationalist administration of Mikhail Saakashvili. Russia's policy is driven by a mixture of emotion and calculation. The Russian security establishment likes the Ossetes, who have been Russian allies for more than 250 years. They loathe the Georgians for their antiRussian nationalism and alliance with the US. For a long time they hoped to use South Ossetia initially to keep Georgia within the Soviet Union and later in a Russian sphere of influence. That Russian ambition has been abandoned largely in the face of the Georgians' determination to escape from this influence. What remains is an absolute determination not to be defeated by Georgia and not to suffer the humiliation of having to abandon Russia's South Ossete client state, with everything that this would mean for Russian prestige in other areas. Vladimir Putin's Kremlin made it clear again and again that if Georgia attacked South Ossetia, Russia would fight. Georgian advocates in the West claimed that Moscow was only bluffing. Anatol Lieven is a professor at King's College London and a senior Fellow of the New America Foundation in Washington DC. " - Maciej, Gliwice, Poland Maciej, some still forlornly hope that world opinion can influence the US for the better. Alan, Sydney, Australia Has it ever occured that a region can secede without a war? Doesn't seem to be possible, and even then it rarely works. Drew, Oakland, CA, USA As much as I see faults with the Georgian leaders for instigating this mess I hold the Super Power up north also partially responsible. As long as the Russians are willing to be led by a former KGB agent who still has visions of greatness I see no peace with their neighbors. No free press no criticism Tariku, Alexandria, VA And of course there's absolutely no doubt that if Ossetia lied far from gaspipies and other fuel transit lines russian reaction would be absloutely the same and Russians have no ulterior motive... I can't see how you people can blame USA of hypocrisy (not without truth) and can't see russian one... and Georgia was not Soviet territory at all until the Soviets snatched it up... Sergey, If Russia now wants to invade Georgia, it would not be much of an issue, provided they clear the mountains first. Rodrigo, The Maldives, What the Georgian refuse to accept? You have to recall first Georgian president Gamsakhurdia who abolished Ossete autonomy when there was no tension. He used to say they may be whoever but they live in Georgian state. Farrukh, Moscow, Russia Seems you have won more Russian friends, sir. They must really be a depressing lot - to think that killing is OK so that Nowheresville be kept in the 'Russian sphere of influence' at all costs! pete laubscher, League City, TX, USA The main problem is that Ossetia was devided by Stalin on two peaces in Soviet time. All the boarders of that time between different part of USSR was made in Stalins cabinet without asking the people! many of us in Africa don't understand the myriad of issues that under girds this conflict. we watch quite a bit of CNN and being a US media it is very easy to have a soft spot for georgia and lebelling russia an aggressor. in any case our hearts goes to innocent victims robert omondi, nairobi, kenya "They were, however, much better armed than the Georgians – Sergey, Odessa, Ukraine Tahnk you professor Lieven and The Times for publishing an honest analysis of this situation. After Afghanistan, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Mbeke character assasination etc, it is nice to find some unbiased reporting on a geopolitical issue. People shoud understand that Russia does NOT want to attack anyone for new provinces (ENOUGH by now) or politic influence. Alexei, Zheleznodorozhny, Russia Mr Lieven - great thanks to you for this informative and honest material. It is a great (and rare) fact in today press of seeing such independent point of view. Hope this material won't be the only one in UK and/or US press. It's great that there're people who don't believe russians are demons. Evgeniy, Saint Petersburg, Russia Mr Lieven - factual and informative thank you. How ironic that these States of the old USSR are fighting for their independence - meanwhile a whole host of Western European countries are by the Politicians sleigh of hand, having their independence surrendered to the EU without a murmur. Richard Garland, Greater Manchester, The only part of the puzzle that appears missing to me is this: on which grounds tdoes Georgia believe that South Ossetia should remain part of Georgia if the South Ossetians feel so strongly about not being part of Geogia? Cha...