In just over a month, it will be the 8th anniversary of Gruzia’s War Against Ossetia and Abkhazia (GWAOA). Also known as the “five-day war”, because that is roughly how long the shooting phase lasted. English-language wiki calls it the “Russo-Georgian” war and makes it clear which side it blames for starting the conflict:
By August 1, 2008, Ossetian separatists began shelling Georgian villages, with a sporadic response from Georgian peacekeepers in the region. To put an end to these deadly attacks and restore order, the Georgian Army was sent to the South Ossetian conflict zone on 7 August. Georgians took control of most of Tskhinvali, a separatist stronghold, in hours. Georgia later stated it was also responding to Russia moving non-peacekeeping units into the country.
Well, people who don’t read Russian will be hard-put to find either a pro-Russian, or in general even unbiased account of these events, since virtually all of Western media, just like this wiki entry, takes the side of Team Gruzia against Team Ossetia. And utilized these historical events, it goes without saying, to launch a blistering propaganda war against Team Russia. As far as Westies are concerned, Gruzia (what they call Georgia*) are the good guys. And the Russians, as always, are the bad guys. Well, that’s okay. Russians are used to being the baddies, it’s life as normal, they shrug, and they can take the heat. But what irks is that completely innocuous small peoples like the Ossetians also get labelled as bad people, even deserving of ethnic extermination, just because they happen not to care for the “A-Team” upon whom the Americans placed their stamp of approval. Ossetians and Abkhazians were supposed to just bow down and accept the Gruzians as their lords and masters, because the Americans promoted the Gruzians over them and consider them to be honorary Good Guys?
*( –once again, just to explain my personal style manual, I use the Russian word Gruzia, not as a derogatory, but to disambiguate with the American state of Georgia; and if you think I am being disingenuous, then you are wrong, because most Americans truly do not know the difference between the two and will look at you sideways if you talk about the “Russian-Georgian war”.)
Brief Burjanadze Bio
Needless to say, I cannot re-live the 5-day war. Short and definitive as the war was (Spoiler Alert: Team Russia won, by a score of 5-0), it would still take many books and tomes to write a full and unbiased history. Which you will not get from Western media, nor from Western wiki nor Western textbooks nor any other Westie sources, with very few exceptions.
The most I can do at this stage of the game is bring you this piece from the Russian press, which contains an interview with one of the key observers of those events.
But first a quick bio of the woman in question, Nino Burjanadze, and here I think we can trust the wiki entry at least to lay out the bare facts and dates of her bio. Coming from an elite, wealthy and politically highly-placed Soviet family, Burjanadze was destined for a distinguished career in Gruzian politics. Her gender was an obstacle, but not a fatal one. She had Law degrees from Tbilisi State University and Moscow State University. When Gruzia declared its independence from the Soviet Union, Nino was elected to the new Gruzian Parliament, from the same political party as Gruzia’s first President, Eduard Shevardnadze. She rose to the level of “Speaker”, which is just a heartbeat away from the Presidency. By all rights, she should have made it up to the highest rung on the ladder. And there was nothing pro-Soviet or pro-Russian in her make-up; as wiki notes: She [Nino] first chaired the Parliamentary Committee for Constitutional Law from 1998 to 1999, and the Parliamentary Committee for International Relations from 2000 to 2001. During the years, she became known as a supporter of pro-Western values and proponent of Georgia’s integration with NATO and the European Union.
In other words, this woman was never a Russian agent or stooge. Her primary political identity was that of a Gruzian patriot She was pro-America, pro-EU and even pro-NATO. So, what happened to her in the end? Well, Saakashvili happened.
And once again, that is much too long a story to tell here. Suffice it to say that Nino, as a Gruzian patriot, a Moderate pro-Western politician, and a tough but sensible-minded woman (some people even compared her to Maggie Thatcher, whose hair-cut and overall look she attempted to emulate) — well, she should have been the American choice to lead Gruzia to its new role as America’s
puppet friend and ally in the Caucasus. Instead, the Americans picked Saakashvili. The madman. And most of the bad history stems from that one awful mistake. It’s just like my old boss used to say: “Put the wrong man in the wrong job, and trouble will ensue.”
Well, it’s never too late to correct a mistake, right? And Burjanadze just happens to be running for office again, as a member of the “Democratic Movement” Opposition party.
Burjanadze: A Woman Scorned
And once again, as in the past, our un-named VZGLIAD stringer did not personally interview Burjanadze. He or she has a cushy job, just living in gorgeous Tbilisi, eating that delicious Gruzian food, sitting in front of the TV watching political shows and interviews, then translating the gist of them into Russian. Great gig if you can get it! Of course, you do have to know Gruzian, which I don’t know and am told is a very difficult and complex language to learn.
Anyhow, this stringer recently watched a show or, more probably, listened to a radio broadcast called “Pirveli” which, again according to wiki, is a radio show on the Georgian Public Broadcaster radio channel. And Burnjanadze, speaking directly into the microphone, declared: “It was Saakashvili who started the war. I am not afraid to say that.”
Continuing on, Nino states: “Saakashvili gave the order to restore the constitutional regime, as was stated in Heidi Tagliavini’s report [for the EU Commission]. He [Saakashvili] bombed a sleeping town with forbidden weapons, when he used cassette bombs [cluster munitions]. This fact was noticed both in Europe and also by the American State Department. It is only Gruzian news channels which don’t disseminate this fact. Saakashvili committed war crimes. He dragged our country into a war we could not win.”
Always the loyal soldier, Burjanadze stressed that she herself kept mum about the cassette bombs until this inconvenient tidbit was mentioned by “international” agencies, i.e., by the West.
In order to re-establish good relations [er, were they ever actually good??] with the Abkhazians and Ossetians, Nino goes on to say, it is necessary to speak the truth and to stop covering up for Saakashvili’s crimes.
“In truth, we need to show Abkhazians and the Ossetians that we are willing to punish the leader of our own country, who used force against his own people; we need to show them that such a person will never again hold power in Gruzia. Without that, we will not be able to restore their confidence in us.”
Жить не по лжи!
Responding to the interviewer’s question, “Are you not just supplying grist to the Russian mill?” Nino replied, that “No, it was Saakashvili who [indirectly] promoted Russian interests. It was Russia who benefited [from the disaster] and was able to bring troops into the Tskhinval region and into Abkhazia.”
Burjanadze hopes to win a Parliamentary seat in the upcoming October elections. Among the points of her party’s platform is the desire to mend relations with Russia, and also “to win back the confidence of the Abkhazians and the Ossetians”.
Sounding a bit like Alexander Solzhenitsyn (or Lev Shcharansky — take your pick), Nino goes on to declare that “relations with the West cannot be built upon a lie“. In other words: “There is no danger threatening Gruzia from the Russian side. As for the West, we will enjoy pragmatic relations with them, not based upon a lie.”
Well, this is heresy, of course. American foreign policy, not to mention NATO’s existence, is based upon the premise that Russia, like a rabid bear, threatens all her neighbors, all the time and everywhere.
Asked what is the “lie”, Nino Burjanadze replies: “The current government of Gruzia is spreading the lie that Gruzia has been promised membership in NATO and the EU.”
Translation: They won’t let us into EU/NATO, and we’re stuck here, so we better start learning to get along with our neighbors.