Saturday, May 6, 2017

Midinight Train to Georgia - A Critique of the Russo-Georgian Conflict


The International Georgian Conspiracy
by Skip Pulley

To better understand the lies we are now being told about Russia, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, China and Cuba, one should more closely examine the 9-day conflict in the summer of 2008 in which the Russians handed the US/UK/Israeli/Turkish-backed puppet-government proxy state of Georgia a complimentary and symbolic ass-whooping. 

There is no actual “free” press in the US, although we are led to believe otherwise. As a result, my research into the Russo-Georgian conflict using global independent media sources has revealed a massive plot by the US and Israel to wage war on Georgian progressives who were being recognized by Russia as “independent” citizens in “open” cities near the Black Sea. This plan was set in motion to coincide with the Olympic Games to divert any skeptical free thinkers who would question the validity of such an “unprovoked” attack. The idea of a conspiracy is not far-fetched; the Georgian Special Forces trained in the US, In addition, “Blackwater” and “Mossad” personnel were reportedly present during the fighting. From the moment Georgia launched a surprise attack on a Russian peacekeeping force in the tiny breakaway region of South Ossetia on August 8, 2008 prompting a fierce Russian counterattack, Israel and the US have been trying to distance themselves from the conflict. This is understandable: with Georgian forces in retreat, large numbers of civilians killed and injured, and Russia's fury unabated, the US and Israel's deep involvement is severely embarrassing. The collapse of the Georgian offensive represents not only a disaster for Georgia and its US-backed leaders, but another blow to the myth of Israel's supposed military invincibility. Worse, Israel fears that Russia could retaliate by stepping up its military assistance to Israel's adversaries, including Iran. So the big question is why the US and Israel have an interest in Georgian politics?

The Baku-T’bilisi-Ceyhan or “BTC” pipeline was built with the intention of carrying oil from the Caspian to the Mediterranean Sea for shipment to the West. The pipeline does not adhere to any formal environmental standards and has been a source of social and political conflicts across Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey for the past 20 years. Financiers (mainly US & Israeli corporations) were criticized for their lack of monitoring the construction of the project, which facilitated a conflict between Russia and Georgia over Chechen rebels sheltering in the Pankisi gorge. Former Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement that Russia had considered sending troops into Georgian territory to flush them out came just before of the official start of construction of the BTC pipeline. In part, Moscow’s saber-rattling could have been interpreted as an attempt to focus global attention on the construction of the pipeline.

Russia has never been particularly enthusiastic about the BTC pipeline, given that a major goal is to ensure that future Caspian crude oil exports come through Russia. There is no doubt however that the Pankisi gorge was a lawless zone, well beyond the control of the Georgian authorities. At the same time, Russia was also growing increasingly irritated at US opposition to their taking action. This was especially offensive considering the US efforts to secure Russian support for military action against Iraq as part of a spurious UN resolution. As Vladamir Putin merely announced the possibility of military action, he also drew an explicit link between the situation in Pankisi and that of so-called Al Qadea to emphasize the US hypocrisy. This an example of traditional US military/political strategy; to simply take that which benefits the US Corporations by force of arms; Mexico, Guam, Cuba, Vietnam, Afghanistan, etc. The Russians above all are aware of this tactic.

As the entire Caucus region tries to recover from the war that erupted over South Ossetia, questions are being asked as to how the conflict started on the night of August 7-8. Everyone agrees that the Georgian army launched an attack at 11.30 pm that night. The key question is to what degree the Georgians were facing a direct threat. The outbreak of full-scale war on August 8 had been preceded by several weeks of skirmishing in South Ossetia. In the first few days of August, many families evacuated their children from Tskhinvali as the fighting intensified. When the first television pictures were shown of Ossetian civilians leaving the area, Georgian officials responded angrily, saying that it was a sign South Ossetia was gearing up for a war. The Ossetians put pressure on the Georgians to return to negotiations under the multi-lateral Joint Control Commission, which includes the Russians but the Georgians said they wanted to have direct talks with the Ossetian side. Several people died in the first days of August. Manana Magradze, now a refugee from Georgian village Nikozi near Tskhinvali, told IWPR, “There wasn’t a single quiet day in August. We would wake up to the sound of explosions or shots.

During the last week of July, Georgian authorities cut off the water supply to Ossetia leaving hundreds of thousands without fresh water or use of sewer facilities. As Russian peacekeepers came in to distribute supplies and first aid, they came under attack by the Georgian military. But international officials said that by the time they were told about the start of hostilities it was already too late to stop them. A Georgian soldier, who took part in the fighting of August 7-8 and did not want to be named, told IWPR that the situation had been boiling over for weeks, but he thought that the Georgian leadership had “not thought for long” about taking the final step. If the Russians did plan to go on the defensive, there are questions as to why US satellites did not pick up Russian troop movements in North Ossetia. In addition, the US administration intentionally sent “mixed messages” to the Georgian government, which were interpreted as a green light for Georgian officials to believe they had American support for their operation.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had accused unnamed US figures of provoking the Georgian conflict to influence their forthcoming presidential election, as Moscow slipped deeper into diplomatic isolation over its recognition of independence for South Ossetia and Abkhazia. China and four of Russia’s closest Central Asian allies refused to endorse the decision to recognize independence for the breakaway State. “It is not just that the American side could not restrain the Georgian leadership from this criminal act. The American side in effect armed and trained the Georgian army,” Mr. Putin said in a television interview. “The suspicion arises that someone in the United States especially created this conflict with the aim of making the situation more tense and creating a competitive advantage for one of the candidates fighting for the US presidency.” Most analysts agreed that a “prolonged international crisis” would favor Republican candidate John McCain over younger Democrat Barak Obama because of McCain’s “experience”. Russian troops still hold positions well inside Georgia, after they crushed Tbilisi's attempt to regain control of South Ossetia. Georgia called the Russian actions an invasion, while Moscow says it was only protecting its citizens, having given most South Ossetians and Abkhaz passports. At least several hundred people were killed and tens of thousands displaced by the fighting. Although NATO has denied massing warships in the Black Sea in response to the conflict, Russians claim that 18 of its vessels were in the region or on the way there.

I think it is very difficult to know with any certainty what happened exactly, but we can draw inferences from the results. According to the South Ossetian Interior Ministry, on August 7 Georgia started ground fire and shelling of the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali from the village of Nikozi. Then, according to Tskhinvali, the shelling and shooting at the South Ossetian village of Khetagurovo started from the Georgian village of Avnevi. About 10 people were killed and another 50 received various wounds. The Georgian media, however, reported that the South Ossetian side had been shelling the Georgian villages of Avnevi and Nuli for three hours. According to the information of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces in the conflict zone, it was the Georgian side that started firing first. Also, there were verified reports that Russian peacekeepers were fired on. On August 8 Georgia started military operations in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone. This blatant attempt to vilify the Russian community was part of a bigger conspiracy to promote unrest in the region to boost oil profits for the Financiers of the BTC pipeline and to provide an excuse for military intervention by NATO, very similar to that which occurred in Bosnia. 

For additional information on this unsuccessful US-sponsored coup d'├ętat, follow this link:


Skip Pulley
Editor in Chief 

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