This week will be discussed for years to come because of the military conflict in Georgia’s province of South Ossetia. I expect a lot of interpretations about it in the future, and it cannot be otherwise. After all history can be interpreted differently no matter whether or not we want it.
I am not going to say which country was good and which country was evil in this conflict. I am going to express my unbiased opinion instead, because, in my opinion, every country’s goal is more or less the same – power, influence and wealth.
This week I somehow have not been using the Internet, and this time my observations are based more on what I have seen on CNN rather than what I have read on the Internet and/or books. Every day, along with watching the Olympic games on MSNBC, I have watched CNN reports on the crisis in the Georgian pro-Russian province of South Ossetia.
While watching as much as I could on CNN concerning the war there, I tried to play the role of an ordinary person who does not watch politics as much as people whose life is obsessed with it. To put it in a nutshell, I tried to let CNN reporters and influential politicians tell me everything without pondering as much as I am supposed to in order to try to discover the truth.
As a result I came to the conclusion that Georgia and USA were good and Russia was evil. Russia was so evil to me that I got the impression that a Third World War should be initiated, and this time every country should unite against them, and crush them once and for all for all the evil it has caused so far.
I don’t remember anybody in CNN reminding their viewers the fact that Georgia attacked South Ossetia in the beginning of the month. And even if CNN reminded this fact, it sure did not do it in a way that people know about it.
Georgia have managed to play their pro-Western cards right for the past several years. They are one of the Top 3 U.S. allies in Iraq with their huge contingent there (I think CNN mentioned that Georgia troops in Iraq rank first in numbers); and they seek membership in the European Union and NATO. In my opinion, those steps are crucial in preserving their territorial integrity despite Abkhazia’s and South Ossetia’s separatist sentiments.
Speaking of territorial integrity, I cannot help but smile at Condoleezza Rice’s statement while she was in France that Georgia’s territorial integrity should not be put into question. What about Serbia’s territorial integrity, Ms. Rice? Wasn’t USA one of the first countries that recognized Kosovo?
What about Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s statement that Russia actually wants to replace his government? It makes more sense than the Condoleezza Rice’s one but it could also be considered an exaggeration because in this military conflict the Western world is more sympathetic to Georgia, and such statement could further mobilize the Western world into taking measures against Russia.
On the other hand, observing Russia’s mainly unfriendly relations with former Soviet republics that are currently being run by pro-Western governments, I cannot say that what Mr. Saakashvili (his name is not Shashkavili, Mr. McCain) said was completely false. We cannot say for sure unless we have certain confidential information in addition.
The situation is very delicate. I don’t see this conflict as just a political and a social one. It sure is political and social: Russia would like Georgia’s breakaway provinces to secede from Georgia; they violated Georgia’s sovereignty for the sake of a pro-Russian population, and I believe that USA would have reacted in more or less the same way if there are pro-American people who want to secede from Mexico in Northern Baja California if those pro-American people are being attacked by Mexican troops. However, what I see as a more consistent reason for Russia’s invasion in Georgia is economic interests. There are energy transportation routes in Georgia, and of course Russia would like to take control of them.
As ABC and other media pointed out, there are three key pipelines that run through Georgia. The biggest one, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC), is considered one that bypasses Russia. Russia imposed gas price hikes in recent years, and countries in Europe and around the world started to demand gas that does not reach Russia. That, of course, enrages Russia because oil is fundamental in its geopolitics.
Why Georgia decided to attack South Ossetia and thus create a reason for Russia to invade its sovereign territory and bring down the BTC pipeline and make British Petroleum temporarily take offline two of its pipelines in Georgia (information taken from ABC News)? That question, in my opinion can be answered only by people who are rather aware of what is going on in South Ossetia. Who knows – maybe Georgia attacked its breakaway province because they noticed certain supply of arms provided by the Russians. We can’t be 100% sure until we know a lot more than what the biased media give us.