24 August, 2008

More Georgia action

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.


Anonymous said...

He gives good advice which is sadly missed all the time. The cheap use of words such as "authority", "separatists" and "break away region" is stupendous. Just as it is wrong for people to call people of black colour "nigger", such words and terms should be avoided esp "break away region" when such countries are under discussion.

Orgs such as the BBC should not be bias and will be better served if they used "self declared Rep. of Abkhazia".

ian said...

I don't know, "anonymous", I would have thought that calling people "separatists" if they want to separate the area they live in from another entity is a fairly neutral use of language, likewise references to "breakaway regions". What do you think these things should be called?

Adam said...

Sorry, it was me in the first comment.

According to the BBC, now Abkhazia and S Ossetia are both recognized by Russia and will no longer be called "unrecognized" or "self declared".

As soon as Russia sorts issues with neigbours, I hope them to make their move in Africa.

I feel sorry for the Chechen people since their moral supporters do nothing but offer them asylum in the UK or USA. Russia instead not backs its friends, but they died for them.

I can't say anything except congratulate their bravery. Other people here may cite Northern Cyprus's diplomatic recognition by Turkey. But it's everyones opinion and that it is important to respect the people of the lands and their choices.