Sunday, 31 August 2008
still about Georgia and what can one do about it
Last few posts, I tried to share the picture of situation in Georgia by the words of my good friend who has just recently returned to live in Georgia from Brussels. I guess as conflict drags on it would be interesting to share few of my own observations about this conflict.
First and foremost the reaction I got on August 8 was a feeling of deep shock and unease. Human suffering has no nationality or flag to wave, it leaves scars on the faces of children, women and men alike. I naively believed that after Europe emerged from the rubbles of war the lesson was learned. There is no winner in wars, but there are so many loosers.
In the eve of 8/8/8 events I have finished a book by Edward Lucas "The New Cold War". Economist journalist in his book was sharing his thoughts on the evolution of Russian Federation as he saw it with his own eyes. It was like a daydream to wake up the next morning to realise that this book has not merely analysed the trends in Kremlin, it took a snapshot of what sort of individuals are steering our big neighbour to the East.
Georgia was left alone. Alone with the agressor in the front yard. I must emphasise that one can not justify "restoring constitutional order" by military means, especially if this involves shelling the capital of the breakaway region. Democracies dont go to war, but do democracies engage non democracies, even if one can win the moral argument on territorial integrity and sovereignity? EU politicians called it reckless falling into the pre-laid trap. But the fact that the trap was pre-laid does not diminish the fact that someone still had to step into it. Unfortunately to many this was done by the decision of Georgian President.
The crucial part of further developments is not terrible error of judgement, but non-controlable and conscious disproportionate response. It is mad to believe that one can "force the warring party into peace" by military invasion, burning of villages, killing civilians. In the face of this attrocity Georgia was left on its own, with the West trying as hard as it could to get its act together.
EU and OSCE Presidencies were betting on cease fire. One can negotiate on conflict resolution and settlement, but only once the killings are prevented. Deal was secured, at least thats what it seemed like, but it was followed by extremely curious response. History of modern diplomacy will in detail analyse the response after signing of cease fire. Russian President signed it, then said he did not sign the right document, then re-signed it, then found lapses how military presence in a sovereign country can be retained.
In the face of such unceremonial disrespect for international agreements, Kremlin put itself beyond the realm of internation community and its principles of interaction. This provided the US administration and EU had no means to end the bloody confrontation. No one wants to escalate the conflict further and involve NATO countries military force in the region. But Georgian sovereignity has to be defended, but how can its democratic allies do that if the other conflicting part does not play by the same rules.
Will further add to this article few thoughts on Media wars and Kosovo as an example