A number of months ago at Desicritics, the daughter site to Blogcritics Magazine, I wrote an analysis of why no country should trust the United States. It was to be a series, and I was going to use Israel as the example. But we have a far better example to see unfolding in front of us today — Gruzia, known in the west as Georgia.
Americans generally do not care about what is going on outside their borders; they can afford to involve their minds with such nonsense as American Idol and the like, or scream themselves hoarse over their favorite Olympians in China. Or they can retreat behind that ever familiar mantra, "That's politics, and I don't believe in politics". However, those of us who live outside of the United States cannot afford to ignore how the American regime routinely betrays nations that would be its allies.
Nevertheless, the evidence of American betrayal is at hand, and those who ignore this, as Americans have routinely ignored the base betrayals of their government for decades, do so at their own peril. As we say in Hebrew, damám 'al roshám – their blood is on their own heads.
So, let's have a brief recap of events. Before we do, though, let's make clear one single point. While the United States can be looked at as a provocateur here, the aggressive intent of Russia against Gruzia predates any involvement by the United States. Indeed, Russian aggression against Gruzia predates the independence of the United States altogether and is as old, perhaps, as the Romanov dynasty itself.
There are two provinces of Gruzia that are effectively breaking away from the central government in T'bilsi, and are doing so with the active backing of the successor state to the Soviet Union and Russian Empire, the Russian Federation. The dispute over these provinces extends at least 15 years, back to the early 1990's. There has been a long history of bullying of Gruzia by Russia, even when the less than sober Yeltzin was drinking his way through the Russian presidency and Russia was a weak state with no real leader. After having to deal with aggressive Russian moves against it in the 1700's, Gruzia was annexed to the Russian Empire nearly two hundred years ago, and suffered Russian rule until the breakup of the Russian Empire in 1917.
Ivan Simich, writing from Belgrade for Matangi Tonga On-line wrote an excellent summary of events that have lead up to today's situation. From his article:
We may recall the genesis of the current situation which has been precipitated by the 1918-1920 Georgian-Ossetian conflict. Later, in 1922 the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast was created after Soviet occupation of Georgia. In the eighties, the conflict was followed by rising nationalism in the former Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, the South Ossetian desire for greater autonomy, Ossetian demands for unification with Russia's North Ossetia, and persistent Ossetian declarations of independence.
According to Global Politician, the present crisis, simmering for years, was provoked in early May of this year, when long-standing tensions between Russia and Gruzia over the breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions in Gruzia flared dangerously as each country accused the other of provocative actions that might bring about war. Russia moved troops and armor into Abkhazia during the first week of May responding to a Gruzian military buildup along the unofficial border with the breakaway region of the Caucasus republic. Gruzia had warned of military action if Russian forces were to interfere. According to the article, written 14 May:
The Kremlin said the deployment was allowed under a 1994 cease-fire that stationed Russian troops in the region to prevent the kind of fighting that broke out between Georgia and “separatists” after the fall of the Soviet Union. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said any Georgian military action would lead to "retaliatory actions," but stressed at a meeting with European Union ministers that Russia "isn't planning to go to war."
That was then.