Tasmanian Times


Georgia: Why? A Q&A

Helen Womack Guardian.com.uk

Why has fighting broken out in South Ossetia?
The South Ossetians and Georgians have been sniping at each other, both with words and guns, for several weeks now, and patience on both sides has finally snapped. South Ossetia and Georgia’s other breakaway region, Abkhazia, have had de facto independence since the early 1990s, but Tbilisi has never recognised the loss of its territory. The dispute between Georgia and the two regions was called “the frozen conflict” because the issues remained unresolved but there was no fighting. The ice began to melt, and the heat to rise, earlier this year when the west recognised Kosovo, against Russia’s advice. The South Ossetians and Abkhazians argued that if Kosovo could be independent, then so could they, and renewed their struggle for freedom. Read more here

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  1. Chris Shaw

    August 12, 2008 at 3:42 am

    Hi Possums

    Found this excellent piece on the local demographics:


    Not for those of us who yearn for cui bono – who gains in the geopolitical chess-game – but vitally important nonetheless.


  2. Paul de Burgh-Day

    August 12, 2008 at 2:05 am

    US meddling?
    Perish the thought!

    The Guardian is one of the few mainstream media voices to deal with something close to reality. Though praise is also due to ABC RN radio reports from today (Tuesday).

    Take a look at
    War in the Caucasus: Towards a Broader Russia-US Military Confrontation?
    – by Michel Chossudovsky – 2008-08-10
    Georgia was “encouraged” by NATO and the US military officials.

    Putin is a master of Chess.
    How about Bush?

  3. Mike Bolan

    August 11, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Hmm. The information that I have suggests that this is another example of US meddling. The US is trying to control the oil and gas supplies, in particular the Baku Cyrhan pipeline.

    The US has been pushing as many countries as possible to the dogma of ‘free trade’, which is code for allowing US friendly multinationals to control resources, contributing to US hegemony.

    Georgia is just one of these countries, who have been offered the promise of ‘freedom’ in exchange for resource deals.

    Astute readers might have noted that 2,000 Georgian troops are returning from Iraq. What were they doing there and why were they part of the coalition of the willing?

    Also Gorbachev has stated in the SMH Aug 12 that the US has made a mistake in the area. Now Bush is up and telling Russia what to do.

    Pot calls kettle black! screams the headline.

  4. Justa Bloke

    August 11, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Georgia has been occupying South Ossetia ever since the break-up of the old Soviet Union, against the wishes of the vast majority of Ossetians (a bit like the British in Ulster or the Chinese in Tibet, really). The simple (but unlikely) answer is for North and South Ossetia to combine as a united country independent of both Russia and Georgia.

    With first Russia’s cynical over-reaction, then NATO and the US interfering, there’s much less likelihood of a just and peaceful settlement.

    It’s so easy to sit back here in Tasmania and condemn those on the other side of the world who resort to war as a means of conflict resolution. Genocide in one century is one way to ensure peace in the next.

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