A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Appeal from Georgian Young Socialists

The "Union of Socialist Youth of Georgia", sister organisation of Young Labour and Labour Students here in the UK, has sent the following email:

"12 August 2008
Letter of Appeal

We, the Union of Socialist Youth of Georgia (USYG), consider it our obligation to inform international community about existing situation in Georgia. It is evident, that existing internal conflict in one of the regions of Georgia (Samachablo or, so-called South Ossetia) has gone beyond the conflict zone and has been transformed into a full-blown Russian-Georgian war. The military operations of the Russian Federation make it evident that we are witnesses of clear attempt of annexation of Georgia by Russian Federation. Russian aviation carried out military operations not only in conflict zone destroying the entire city of Tskhinvaly, but also attacked Georgian military bases, communication infrastructure and peaceful citizens beyond the conflict zone on behalf of peace-keeping operations. All over the country Russian air forces bombed peaceful cities, regional centres and villages, including: city of Gori (where there are ruined dwellings), port of Poti (which is the important strategic object for food import), the capital of Georgia – Tbilisi, aircraft factory and territory nearby the Tbilisi international airport. All these objects have no connection to conflict zone. Despite the statement of Russian officials, that they only try to keep peace in conflict zone, it is the fact that they have crossed the boundaries of conflict area and occupied the country’s strategic locations; the Russian military forces occupied the several west Georgian cities, central highway and are now approaching Tbilisi.

We, the USYG, are expressing our concern about the current situation, and consider actions of Russian federation actions as invasion of Georgia. The attacks of Russian military forces against Georgian army could not be considered actions for peacekeeping purposes. This way Russian Federation tries to assure their imperial ambitions and restore its political influence on Georgia. It is now clearly possible that sooner or later potentially other countries may also become victims of Russian aggression. Current actions of Russian Federation jeopardize not only stability of one country or region, but also the whole world. It changes the established principles of international justice in the world and pushes for establishment law of power.The analogy of Soviet Union’s invasions of various regions of the world in the last century to the Russia’s current actions is evident. If during those times, soviet interventions in Czech republic, Slovakia, Hungary and etc. were justified by the need for protection of workers’ rights, today they are carrying out military operation under the justification of protecting Ossetian population.

We, the UYSG underline that our guiding principles are peace, freedom and human rights and would like to express our greatest concern against Russian aggression, demand an immediate halt of military operations on the territory of an independent country and insist on an immediate departure of Russian troops from the Georgian territory.

We, UYSG appeal to all Socialists, Social Democrats, Labour youth and all of the progressive youth organisations, for whom peace, freedom and human rights are the important issues, to express your attitude toward Russian aggression. Today, as never before the Georgian people are in need of international support, therefore we are asking you to express your protest against Russian aggression in your countries at the Russian embassies and diplomatic units, and support and express your solidarity with Georgians population.We hope that our appeal will not be disregarded and adequate actions will be taken form your sides.

In hope in your solidarity

In name of Union of Socialist Youth of Georgia

Dimitri Tskitishvili
The president of Union"

10 Comments:

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Sorry, maybe I got this wrong.

In 1992, Georgia was forced to accept a ceasefire to avoid a large scale confrontation with Russia. The government of Georgia and South Ossetian separatists reached an agreement to avoid the use of force against one another, and Georgia pledged not to impose sanctions against South Ossetia.

Fast forward to the events of last week.

Georgian forces launched a barrage of high ordinance against Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia resulting in the deaths of over 1000 people holding Russian Federation passports.

They then broke the terms of the 1992 ceasefire agreement by rolling in their heavy armour into the disputed region.

In November 2006 South Ossetia unanimously voted for independence from Georgia, although this vote was not internationally recognised.

Couple those two events together and I can only deduce that Georgia is at fault here.

Serbia used heavy handed tactics against the KLA and the Kosovans so we intervened, in the same way the Russians have done here, after all their citizens were attacked.

Probably another example would be the fact we sent a fleet into the South Atlantic to kick out an invasion force in 1982 (The Falklands) when our citizens were invaded.

That said there are some parts of what was said in the letter of appeal I agree with. I am sure the nationalist voices in Russia would like to see Georgia absorbed into the federation regardless of what the Georgians themselves want.

But over all I can't say the Russians are in the wrong here; protecting your citizens from aggression is should be the prime directive of any government.

11:22 am, August 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Neither Moscow nor Tbilisi said...

Luke, your position on this is barmy. Georgia fired the first shots and its nationalistic government is bent on denying the people of South Ossetia the right to self-determination. Various human rights NGOs have condemned the Georgian government for cracking down on the opposition. Yet you seem to want to take a black and white view on this.

We should condemn the militarism of both sides and push for a political solution. This will mean Georgia having to concede they cannot re-take South Ossetia by military force!

11:28 am, August 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Matthew Stiles said...

Of course in BushWorld the attack on South Ossetia never even happened. Therefore, Russia must be the aggressor.

11:32 am, August 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Ed said...

We must avoid falling into simplistic and childish thinking that because Georgia is weaker and lost the war it must be the victim and morally correct. By these standards, Argentina would have been the victim in the Falklands and Japan the victim after Pearl Harbor.

But as Ravi Gopaul has pointed out, it was Georgia that violated the agreement in South Ossetia by trying to seize it by force. Georgia started the war, and having lost it we shouldn't treat it as the victim.

Note the Georgian Young Socialists don't even call South Ossetia by it's Ossetian name which would seem like a clear indication that they too want to strip the Ossetians of their autonomy. Such a move by Georgia in the early 90s was what led to the Ossetians rebelling and running their own affairs in a de-facto independent state.

2:46 pm, August 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

As I have said elswhere - how fortunate we are that Georgia is not a member of NATO – and for that we have to thank the European dimension within NATO and its ability, for once, to have frustrated the intentions of the USA.

The Bush Administration’s arming and incitement of former Soviet republics has intensified instability across the Caucasus and Central Asia – all part of Washington’s increasingly fragmenting and self-defeating foreign policy. The USA’s seeking to turn these republics into ‘beacons of liberty’ and outposts in its ‘war on terror’ encouraged and legitimized isolated, opportunistic, rulers of often-doubtful internal legitimacy, to repress political opponents and media critics and conventional business activities.

In Georgia and Uzbekistan in particular, increasingly dictatorial rulers have taken Washington’s political and military backing as a green light to preserve their power by any means necessary. Just exactly what buffoonery was George Bush up to in his recent high profile visit to Georgia? Is the current outcome really much of a surprise to his Washington team?

Russia will do mighty well out of this bloody fiasco. The European Union must now work out what it intends to do ‘ex-NATO’ within its own new, and emerging, frontiers and in its relationship with Russia. The fiasco may well be a high watershed in what is in danger of becoming an inept, arrogant, malign and disproportionate weight of USA meddling in European affairs.

9:06 pm, August 14, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

The Ossetians simply don't associate themselves with Georgia. They really have played into the Russians hands.

9:37 pm, August 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rubbish, Gerogia is the victim. the russians fired shots at the georgians and claimed they were peace keepers what kind of peace keepers fire shots. BS.
Russia is in the wrong. :

9:43 pm, August 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Luke you talk about Russia as if they are the big enemy here. Most of the information you are getting is gained from Western News Agencies and our government both heavily influenced by our strong links to the United States.

What you don't know is that America has already flown in more than 4000 front line troops ;a fleet of war ships and some very heavy kit. There is a real chance here that America and Russia could get into a stand of.

I'm extremely worried about this whole thing. I'm worried because I don't want to plunge the next generation into another world war. Surely we have learnt from our mistakes.

America needs influence in Georgia and will probably fight for it. The people of South Ossetia believe they are Russian before Georgian.

This is really a conflict that America should stay well clear of. I'm sick of the United states sticking it's military finger into European Issues when oil is involved.

This could so easily result in another large European conflict. The sooner Bush is removed from office the better.

I've completely changed my mind on McCain also, the mad man is taking the same stance as Bush. I only hope Americans vote for Obama, the only man in American politics talking some sense.

10:30 pm, August 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Latest news is likely to inflame the Russians even more. Another former eastern block country is offering itself as an extension to the missile defense system.

The whole point of having nuclear weapons is that by having them prevents a nuclear armageddon. But the defense system throws the whole idea on its head and increases the likelihood of a nuclear 3rd world war.

With Bush looking more likely to use force to remove Russia from Georgia the closer we are moving to a fresh conflict.

Very depressing.

8:01 pm, August 16, 2008

 
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10:00 am, August 17, 2010

 

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