Saturday, October 07, 2006

Just finished another Georgia translation for Global Voices - and have a craving for Georgian food as a result.

Seriously, though, what's going on in Russia now is so fucked up. If this were a person acting like this, the best way would be to ignore the moron completely. But Russia is too big and important to be ignored.

And the voices of the normal people in Russia are barely audible in all this noise. Reminds me somewhat of the cartoon controversy earlier this year.

And Saakashvili, he should've focused on making the country livable when he came to power, and all the Abkhazias, Ajarias and Ossetias would've come running to him then, and all those hundreds of thousands of Georgians forced to live abroad would've been able to return voluntarily, and instead, they are being deported from Russia now, picked at random, it seems...

But it is surreal, what's going on. Akunin, Tsereteli, schoolkids...


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  2. I read about this and felt a chill, as well the treatment of harmless shopkeepers from places in the Caucusus, the whole atmosphere bothers me.
    You are right, Russia is too big and important to ignore and yes the leadership in Georgia should have focused on daily life issues, as should have the leadership in all the Balkans countries, but it's so much easier to make war I gues, it takes so much less intelligence.

  3. what do yoe mean by "normal people"? people who share your view? to me they are not normal at all

  4. HOW DARE YOU blame what is going on in Russia on Saakashvili?

    You are just spewing Kremlin propaganda. SHAME ON YOU!!

    How can a leader possibly focus on mundane matters when a giant neighbor is trying to depose him in coup d'etat?

    Russia's actions have NOTHING to do with breakaway republics, they are motivated by Georgia's desire to JOIN NATO. No matter how economically prosperous Georgia was, Russia would still be trying to destabilize it and drive the pro-West government out, just like it tried to poison Yushchenko in Ukraine.

    No wonder Russia can't make any progress! If you are "normal" one can't dare to imagine what "abnormal" might be like.

    Maybe Politikovskaya should have done things differently too? Complimented the Kremlin and written nice stories about knitting? If she had, she'd be alive today, right?

  5. Citing Saakashvili's implicite involvement in the crisis between Russia and Georgia is not Kremlin propaganda. It is the reality of the situation and problems between the two nations. Georgia had to know that this action or show of arresting soldiers would provoke a response from Russia. In fact, it is likely that they WANTED to provoke a response. Are you so naive as to believe it wasn't a spectacle? Do you think counter-espionage works by making very public arrests?

    You then try to spin it to something about Politkovskaya's contract murder - as though the two issues are related or intertwined in some fashion.

    Of course, Politkovskaya's reporting created controversy and a personal negative backlash towards her - do you imagine that Woodward and Bernstein didn't receive death threats? Do you think such threats would come from then president Nixon - or from ardent misguided followers?

  6. W.SHEDD:

    It IS Kremlin propaganda. It's EXACTLY what the Kremlin would want to have said, and it's an ABSURD LIE to say that Saakashvili is intentionally provoking the Kremlin at the expense of developing the economy. The two are in NO WAY mutually exclusive. All he did was to arrest a CLAN OF SPIES who were trying to overthrow him. It would be rather hard for him to develop the economy from the grave, I'm sure even you will agree. If you think Georgia would be better off allowing itself to be enslaved by Russia, I suggest YOU go an live as Vladimir Putin's slave for a few years and then report back to us.

    There's absolutely NOTHING wrong with Georgia trying to defend itself or join NATO. For anyone to suggest that Georgia is somehow to "blame" for the crisis because it pursues its own national security and freedom from the terrifying prospect of being ruled over by Russia, one of the most corrupt and evil regimes on the face of the planet, is blatant Kremlin propaganda, pure and simple.

    If you choose to blame Politkovskaya's reporting IN ANY WAY, rather than the maligant forces who killed her, for her demise, then you are a Kremlin propagandist. I

    I guess Martin Luther King and Ghandi were responsible for their deaths too, right? That's just plain sick. Attitudes like THAT are just the ones that make rodents like Putin think he can kill heros like Politkovskaya.

    Quoth the politburo.

  7. Neeka said nothing about Anna Politkovskaya in her post on the Georgian crisis (since she posted it before the murder occurred,) so it's unfair to conflate the two.

    I haven't seen the evidence against the Russian officers -- has anyone? I'm very open-minded as to the possibility that they were doing exactly what the Georgians have claimed, but it would be nice to remove all doubt. And, speaking of Yushchenko's poisoning, I've seen no proof that the Russians were behind that, either. They may indeed have been, but it makes me wonder why the proof hasn't come out. It's not as though false accusations are never levelled at Russia: the story of the alleged presence of Russian spetsnaz troops in Ukraine during the OR (a story that was comical in its birth and development) was later disowned by two of the key figures in its promotion - Tymoshenko and Turchinov.

    I often find myself in disagreement with Neeka over Ukrainian political issues, but feel that she's right to diffuse some of the blame for the problems of Georgian territorial sovereignty.

    The "breakaway" republics' issue long predates any Georgian turn to NATO. Therefore, to see this issue as _solely_ a lever for the Kremlin to keep Georgia out of NATO is missing part of the picture, in my view. That said, it clearly _is_ being used by Russia now.

    Saakashvili has toned down his previously rather inflammatory remarks about Abkhazia and South Ossetia; unfortunately, the Defense Minister hasn't shown any restraint. Added to that, the dismissal of the Minister for Conflict Resolution was an own-goal.

    Confidence-building measures on the part of Georgia are required. It has to be remembered that it was Georgian forces that assaulted Abkhazia -- not the other way around -- after having rescinded their autonomous status. Also, as provocative as the Russians' issuing Russian passports to the inhabitants of the two republics was, it wasn't forced upon these people. The Abkhaz have voiced a desire for greater autonomy (as far as independence) from Georgia as far back as 1978.

    None of this excuses the anti-Georgian idiocy now witnessed in Russia. Even from a purely utilitarian point of view: why kick out people who are clearly inclined to friendship, or at least peaceful coexistence, with Russia?

    For anyone who's interested, I'm going to be looking at the Georgia/Abkhazia/Ossetia issue on my blog (shameless plug) in the next couple of weeks, starting with a discussion of the ethnonational myths on all sides, and moving through the development of hostilities and their aftermath.

    All the best,