And here is an interesting article on Open Democracy by veteran sensible person Neal Ascherson: After the war: recognising reality in Abkhazia and Georgia
He reckons Georgia would be better off cutting its losses on Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and accepting their permanent separation from the Georgian state. South Ossetia is probably doomed to absorption into the Russian federation (not necessarily a disastrous outcome for many South Ossetians, obv.), but Ascherson reckons that Abkhazia could ultimately go it alone. It was a separate republic within the USSR for a bit, and the place apparently has a good climate for tourism and high value agricultural production.
One thing Ascherson points out is that the Georgian authorities seem to have a fondness for cackhanded attempts to resolve secessionist conflicts by force. In 1993, Georgia's President Shevardnadze launched an offensive to crush the Abkhazian separatists, but Russian intervention tipped the balance. Saakashvili experimented with a more creative approach to his country's separatist regions when he recruited Boney M to headline a free concert that was meant to persuade South Ossetians that things would be better for them within Georgia. In launching his recent military offensive against them, Saakashvili seems to be reverting to more normal behaviour for Georgian leaders.
It is a shame that Russia's disproportionate response to Georgia's initial offensive has led to this conflict being largely covered as one of Russian aggression against a weak neighbour. The Irish Times is at least to be saluted for carrying an article suggesting that Saakashvili will soon be coming under increasing domestic pressure to resign, with many Georgians likely to blame him for bringing disaster upon the country through his reckless gamble against the separatists.