Thursday, August 13, 2009

Russian Occupation and refugee camps

After traveling around in Georgia for one month in July/august, I have a clear impression that this war is not over yet. Numerous provocations from separatists/ russians shooting at EUMM personnel, the pathetic visit to South Ossetia by miniputin in july, machoputin’s visit yesterday to Abkhazia where he pledge 500 mill $ for more armed forces, together with the ongoing Russian propaganda campaigns shows this clearly. The EUMM personell is doing their job as best they can, and is very visible around the separatist enclaves.
The refugee camps
Several thousands Georgians have been driven from their homes which has been thoroughly looted before burned down by russian and ossetian militia. For those reading the analysis starting to come out now, (that is besides Der Spiegel and other more or less unserious journalists) it’s clear that Russia preplanned the war and must without any doubt be regarded as the aggressor. And now it seems that ethnic cleansing is rewarded with more territory. A process Russia has taken active part in since 1992 in Abkhazia, where the total number of displaced people now amounts to round 250 000. The many huge refugee camps is evidence. I have seen a lot of them, newly erected around the Russian occupied territories.
NATO acts like the battered wife
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the new NATO leader, proclaimed that he would pursue true and close cooperation with Russia. I seriously think he must spend more time out of office before doing business with a nation, now run by FSB, that systematically have broken every international and national agreements and laws, not forgetting human rights, since Stalin started the destruction of the nation. Surely NATO must have learned at least a tiny bit from the shameless lack of action in august 2008. But I am not sure of that. European politician are book keepers, not political leaders fit to defend principles of integrity and democracy. That includes Norway to, where foreign minister and wonderboy of “dialogue” Jonas Gahr Støre is quick to condemn actions in Zimbabwe and Burma, but quickly hides under the table when Russias systematic violations of everything a modern society holds high of values and principles is mentioned. This lack of action reminds me about the psychology of battered wives trying to please their abusive husbands without much success. The battering is a pathological condition impossible to cure with any “dialogue”.
The EU Factfinding Mission Report
The EUFFM report about the war in Georgia will be published in September. Is it political possible to blame Russia? I think no, given the political climate in Europe? We’ll see…The main questions that should be asked is this: Who gained land in the war? Russia gained 20% of Georgia, a sovereign nation. That ends the blame game.
Russia is deteriorating rapidly
Russia is on a steep downturn both democratic and financially. Hopefully that will bring down the regime, and give space for development for Russians, who more or less live in total confusion givet that the regime controls all information. Not even Europe’s last dictator Lukashenko, in Belarus follows the Russian threats and directives anymore. Only Hamas has formally recognized the breakaway regions, whatever that gives of credibility.
Medvedev legalize military action outside Russia.
Medvedevs new law proposal will allow Russian troops to intervene wherever there can be found a scent of Russian genetics being ”mistreated”. This should seriously alarm the Baltics and Ukraine. The Russian leadership is on a path which is dangerous for all nations having Russians with double citizenship as a part of the population.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Oleg said...

On a visit last week to Abkhazia, Vladimir Putin reminded the world just how deep his KGB roots run. He spewed for lies so ridiculous, so totally detached from reality, as to bespeak the worst and most humiliating moments of Soviet-era gibberish.

Putin claimed that “practically all of international society” blames Georgia for the August war with Russia. When asked how this could be so since the overwhemling majority of Westerners openly condemn Russian aggression and have refused to recognize either Ossetia or Abkhazia, Putin explained: “In the West, what is called the West, we have plenty of supporters. They are all under a certain pressure from NATO’s leading country, the United States. And, to put it bluntly, many of them don’t publicly state their positions, because they would then diverge from the U.S. position.”

Paranoia and lies from a classic neo-Soviet man.

Putin is, in other words, just as much detached from real information about the world and feedback about his own perfomrance as any Soviet ruler ever was. The notion that the Internet has somehow opened Russia to a free flow of real information is simply nonsense. Most Russians have no Internet access, and Mr. Putin clearly doesn’t. Like the infamous Emperor with his “new clothes” Putin simply has no idea now ridiculous he sounds because nobody around him will say so. Why would they, when Putin’s critics routinely get shot in the head just as they did in time of Stalin?

The Kremlin is, just as it always has been, drunk on a sea of propaganda and self-delusion. The people of Russia do not know, and it seems their leaders don’t either, that they stand utterly alone, befriended only by rogue states like Venezuela, Nicaragua and Iran. They really believe the world loves them, but is just afraid to say so. The fact that no civilized nation has recognized Ossetia and Abkhazia, they really believe, is all due to American-led conspiracies. Yet, though apparently viewing the US as omnipotent, Russia has no problem threatening and menacing the US with nuclear bombers and submarines on a daily basis. If America really were as powerful as Putin claims, that policy would be suicide.

And yet Putin does not see the contradiction in his own words, because he has become used to always being right. Just like Stalin, he is totally disconnected from reality and hence far more dangerous to Russia than any foreign enemy.

Monday, August 17, 2009 11:51:00 p.m.  
Anonymous Oleg said...

Putin and Stalin

This piece in the Financial Times sees positive steps in Vladimir Putin's efforts to talk about Molotov-Ribbentrop, but observes that the current leadership is still very far away from the comfort level of being able to openly debate Joseph Stalin.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9830a8e2-9725-11de-83c5-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1

Putin isn’t up for any immediate foreign military adventures right now. He’d love to crush Georgia and Ukraine, but, there are limits to what he can get away with right now.

Things are deteriorating too fast for him economically at home to make any big missteps. He doesn’t have the full fledged support of the Russian masses to invade Georgia and he knows it.

Autocratic systems, be they Czarist, Soviet, or Putinist, don’t want to encourage cooperation or institutions that facilitate cooperation. Why not? Because the autocrats and their henchmen are afraid that others will cooperate against them. The kind of associative society that de Tocqueville described in Democracy in America is an anathema to an autocrat. People who can cooperate and associate to start a business or a charity or a church can cooperate and associate to oppose the predations of autocrats.

Autocrats like atomized societies, where people lack trust. It takes trust to work together against thugs. A lot of trust. Atomized individuals, distrustful of one another, pose far less of a threat than people used to cooperation. For extreme examples, consider the myriad efforts in the Stalinist USSR or Hitler’s Germany to sow distrust: the informers, the spies.

Autocrats like hierarchical relationships (power verticals, if you will) where people look up rather than to their right or left. Or, to use another metaphor, centralized relationships, with the autocrat at the spoke of the wheel. (This brings to mind a captured Iraqi document that diagrammed military communications networks in Saddam’s army during the Gulf War. All communications between units went through a central node–different units could not communicate directly.)

Most Russians accept Stalin committed mistakes and terrible crimes, notably against the Soviet people. But they cannot accept he was a murderous dictator comparable to Hitler. That would be to question the Soviet victory over the Nazis - and with it the huge sacrifices involved, they fear.

Mr Putin's authoritarian elite, which has never renounced its communist predecessors, shamelessly exploits these sentiments, often casting criticism of Stalin as criticism of Russia.

Russia needs a public debate in which assessments of the Soviet people's heroic triumph over Nazi Germany is separated from assessments of Stalin's personal record. Historians must be given free rein, especially on television. But there is little hope for openness when new laws make "the falsification of history" a criminal offence. Mr Putin seems as determined to control the past as he is to stifle present-day political liberties.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009 9:16:00 p.m.  
Blogger Writer'n said...

Hello, Oleg. Putin is definitely a Stalinist. I really hope this man and his collaborators disappears. The russians deserve a modern and intelligent leader for a change.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 9:16:00 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Einstein,

Can I have permission to use this photo? I'm a researcher and would like to put this in a little mini-documentary about multiculturalism in Georgia. I can give you credit if you like.

hsakarya@mercy.edu

Saturday, January 18, 2014 10:18:00 p.m.  

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