Russia & Georgia – another viewpoint
This fascinating counter view of the respective roles of the belligerents and those of the U.S. and the U.K. is a must-read. Pay close attention also to the comments regarding China.
From a neighboring state, the view of recent events in Georgia is somewhat different.
A few points for you to consider:
1. Neither Abkhazia, nor South Ossetia were ever formally an integral part of the Georgian Socialist Republic. Abkhazia, during the Soviet Union days was an independent Socialist Republic. South Ossetia was an Autonomous Region, (Times Atlas of the World – 1990 edition
and earlier – A.O. translates as Autonomous Okrug, or region). U.S., EU and NATO claims that Russia respect Georgia’s territorial integrity in Abkhazia and South Ossetia are baseless, and indeed incorrect. Amazing that none of the millions of bureaucrats in the west has bothered to refer to a world atlas from the Soviet period.
2. US military advisors and Georgian regular army /special forces troops conducted a large scale military maneuver only days before Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia. Since 2003 both the U.S. and Turkey provided Georgia with tens of millions of dollars in military aid, and countries such as the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Israel, Poland, etc. sold weapons and military support systems to Georgia. Much of the revenue that Georgia received from crude oil transit tariffs, (from the BP managed Baku-Tbilis-Ceyhan pipeline project, which was, by coincidence, started the same year that Georgian President Saakashvili came to power in the Rose Revolution) was funneled into weapons purchases.
3. Georgian forces were well-equipped, especially with night sight and specialized communications gear and had plenty of tanks and mobile artillery at their disposal. Contrary to public perception, the Russian forces mobilized to South Ossetia did not have an initial advantage in either men or equipment, indeed, many of the Russian tanks moblized from North Ossetia broke down along the mountain roads to South Ossetia because they were in such poor condition.
Russian President Medvedev has subsequently stated that a major revamp of the Russian army is in order.
3. Russian Peace Keeping forces allowed the Georgian military to take control of several strategic heights near Tsinvali, (the South Ossetian capitol) on 2 and 3 August. While the reason for this is unclear, taking the strategic heights around Tsinvali clearly gave the upper hand in any future military attack to the Georgian army – you could say that the Russians had baited the trap. Indeed the build up to war had been going on since early July. Several terrorist-style bomb blasts in Abhazia, (which were blamed on Georgian special forces) and almost constant, small scale,
shooting and shelling back and forth between Georgian and South Ossetian forces had heated up the kettle to the boiling point.
4. In the run up to the brief war in South Ossetia, Georgian special forces had been actively spying against Russian military targets in both South Ossetia and the North Caucasus region of Russia, most of these spy operations were eliminated by Russian counter espionage units. Several
Georgian agents admitted that they were to blow up bridges and other strategic targets upon receipt of the appropriate signal from Tbilisi.
5. The Russian military and espionage forces operate an exhaustive intelligence gathering network in Georgia and the entire Caucasus region, and were almost certain to have known about Georgia’s upcoming attack.
6. There is only one land route between South Ossetia and North Ossetia, (in Russia) and this “life line” mountain road goes through a single 4 kilometer long tunnel,(the Rokski tunnel). If the Georgian forces would have immediately detonated this tunnel they would have been almost assured a military victory, however, they did not destroy the tunnel. Apparently the Georgian military had planned to terrorize the South Ossetian people, (which they did a good job of) and force them to flee for their lives through this single tunnel into Russia, thereby ethnically cleansing the region, (some 35,000 South Ossetians did flee through the tunnel in the days leading up to, and during, the conflict). One should also remember that this is the 3rd attempt since 1920 to ethnically cleanse South Ossetia of its Ossetian population. So, the Georgian commanders,
confident of their military superiority and convinced that Russia would not be able to significantly react before most Ossetians had been forced to flee to Russia through this single tunnel, decided to keep the tunnel intact, at least for the immediate future, and this was their fatal error.
7. Georgia had very good anti aircraft weaponry, (the best of which was purchased from the Ukraine) and indeed did shoot down 4 Russian planes, 1 a strategic bomber. The Georgian battle plan was simple and brutal, push the South Ossetians off of their land and / or kill them. The Georgian army literally rained death upon South Ossetian homes, schools, hospitals, public buildings, etc. It was indeed a humanitarian disaster for those trapped under the artillery barrage. Dozens of Ossetian villages were wiped off of the map. The President of South Ossetia was safely
some 40 kilometers up the road to Russia in a town called Dzhava though – coordinating the South Ossetian military response, and indeed hundreds of South Ossetians put up a desperate struggle to slow down the Georgian military advance during those early hours of the conflict. Many Russian Peace Keepers were killed and wounded in the first 2 days of the conflict.
8. PM Putin personally met with the President of Chechnya, and Chechnya dispatched 2 battalions of hardened Chechen warriors to South Ossetia in support of the Russian army. The presence of Chechen fighters in South Ossetia and Georgia did a great deal to demoralize Georgian regular army troops, as the Chechens do have a fearful reputation. It is interesting to note that Georgia chose to attack during the opening day of the Beijing Olympics, when PM Putin was in
Beijing. Indeed PM Putin even had a brief word with President Bush in Beijing, informing him that Georgia and Russia were now at war with each other.
9. As soon as the cream of Georgia’s military had been destroyed or captured, the “house of cards” literally collapsed, and Georgian troops abandoned hundreds of perfectly good tanks, mobile artillery units, armoured troop carriers, etc. Tons and tons of expensive munitions were captured and/or destroyed by Russian forces. With Abkhazia also joining the fray, encircling some 2500 Georgian troops in the Khordoski valley, Georgia was essentially defenseless, and Russia took full advantage of this situation, moving deep into Georgian territory to capture Georgian military targets and set up road checkpoints. In fact, Russian forces could have easily rolled into Tbilisi, they were only about an hour’s drive away, with basically no organized military force to stop them.
The western corporate media was essentially silent about Georgia’s unleashing a “Stalingrad
type” artillery barrage upon Tsinvali, and to this day appears to have absolutely no concern about the thousands of South Ossetian lives lost. Western media coverage of Georgian refugees is extensive, however. After the Georgian ethnic cleansing campaign had failed, many South Ossetians
began to take the law into their own hands and extract revenge from those Georgians living in nearby villages, (Georgians and South Ossetians often lived in ethnically separate villages at short distances from each other). Many Georgian homes were torched, people forced to flee for their
lives, with all of their property and livestock confiscated as spoils of war. As so often happens during war time, the poorest suffer the most. The Russian military appears to have done little to protect these Georgian villagers, and perhaps simply did not have the manpower for this mission as
its troops had already advanced deep into Georgian territory.
The western media has also been focused upon Russian “aggression” in Georgia, again failing to note Georgia’s murderous surprise attack. This would be about the same as accusing the USA of military aggression against Japan after Pearl Harbor. The latest western notion of delivering “humanitarian aid” to Georgia on U.S. missile destroyers and frigates also appears somewhat strange, and the Russian General Staff takes a very dim view of this “humanitarian” operation.
Most major events are carefully coordinated at the very top and well in advance, particularly if they occur within the sphere of influence of one of the major Illuminati power groups. I also believe, however, that the competing Illuminati power groups often quarrel among themselves, (as Russia and Great Britain have been doing now for centuries – remember the Great Game of the 19th Century?) especially when desired spheres of influence collide, and that matters can temporarily get out of hand, (humans are human after all). This would account for the somewhat “knee jerk” reaction of western politicians and the mass media to Russia’s crushing the Georgian army. There definitely is an ongoing struggle for control of natural resources and regional influence, and
Russia sees the Caucasus, Central Asia, and indeed most of the Ukraine and Moldova as being within its historical sphere of influence, (Great Britain’s Foreign Minister was quickly rushed off to Kiev to meet with President Yushenko and publicly stated that Russia should not start another
Cold War – also informing President Yushenko that the Ukraine should do absolutely nothing to anger Russia). You can expect events in the Crimea and throughout the Ukraine in general to heat up in the coming months and years, at least this is what the U.K. is preparing for, (a sort of 21st Century Charge of the Light Brigade, only this time with NATO troops and sailors).
Another point to ponder is China’s economic expansion into Central Asia and a possible Russia/China “Entente,” (which already more or less exists under the guise of the Shanghai Organization for Cooperation which is currently meeting in Tajikistan). China will not soon forget
that the U.S. basically gave passive permission to Georgia to open hostilities on the very day that the Beijing Olympics opened. Furthermore, the U.S. announced that it would be selling Taiwan more weaponry on the very day that the Shanghai Organization for Cooperation gathered in Tajikistan. China quickly fired off an ice cold reply to the U.S. stating that it considered Taiwan as Chinese territory.
The U.S. and U.K. appear to be doing their utmost to antagonize and irritate both Russia and China lately. Why the U.S. / U.K. power group would want to drive the Russian and Chinese power groups into a formal military pact remains unclear to me at the present time. Perhaps a new cold war
would take people’s minds off the deflating western economies and concurrent rampant inflation, at least until some other distraction can be organized. It’s definitely something to think about.
So, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The Great Game continues, and the plebes continue to have a cause to fight and die for.