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Faust and Mephistopheles – Georgian Version

16.07.2008 15:48

Sergey Kireev

Using the language of Zbigniew Brzezinski a big chess game in Transcaucasia is close to its culmination point. Unfortunately the situation here develops under a scenario extremely dangerous first of all for Georgia and also disadvantageous and unpromising for Russia.

Americans, the lead characters of this drama, say in such situation: "Excuse my French". So, I will also speak straight out, without politesses and political correctness inappropriate to this particular case. Because for me, a man who was grown-up in a unified country, the Soviet Union, the destiny of the Georgian people is as close as the destiny of any other peoples of our common Motherland.

Today the Georgian leaders are dancing with sabers around a ritual fire making war whoops. They are encouraged initially from overseas and recently from the territory of Georgia by sepulchral voice of an Afro-American expert in Russia, Condoleezza Rice, or "Brown Plague" as she was called by one of my American friends. "Frankly some of the things the Russians did over the last couple of months added to tension in the region," she said in Tbilisi. The Georgian leaders in paroxysm of aggression aggravated by megalomania sincerely believe that Americans will support them by "fire and attack" in combats for the return of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. That for the good of small but very proud "democratic" Georgia the United States and European Union will destroy the political and economic relationship built between the West and Russia and even will be ready to expose their cities to the strikes of Russian missiles Topol M. It seems to them that their pact with America has been made, they have finally got the support and may enjoy rosy prospects of victorious march of the Georgian troops singing Yankee Doodle. But the Devil is the evil because he is a great deceiver. Saakashvili would better read Goethe's Faust. And the Holy Writ too.

So, what is the current alignment of forces?

Georgia. Evidently Sakartvelo is preparing for a resolute assault. "The offensive reconnaissance" has been recently performed near Tzhinvali. The Georgian Ambassador to Moscow has been called back to Tbilisi for consultations. Smiling happy faces of Saakashvili and his sidekicks after their talks with the Brown Plague. Menacing footfall of Georgian battalions marching towards Abkhazia and South Ossetia. However, it was too much spoken about it already. And it is not so important because Georgia (I have to disappoint the trigger-happy Georgian hotheads) is not only a player in this chess game; it is not even a knight.

Russia. It is making last diplomatic and military-political efforts to prevent development of the situation under the worst scenario. It is evident that in case of an open aggression of Georgia, which is currently the most military-powerful state of the region, neither Abkhazia nor South Ossetia will be able to resist for a long time, nether 2500 Russian peacekeepers spread across the vast territory without heavy offensive and defensive weapons will be able to do it even if they are replaced with elite paratroopers or battalions Zapad (West) and Vostok (East). It means that Abkhazian and South Ossetian people have to hope only for the regular Russian troops. Without their interference Abkhazia and South Ossetia will witness just massacre, bloody massacre of Russian citizens.

Recently Colonel General Sergey Makarov, Commander, the Russian North Caucasus Military Command, claimed that his troops are ready to come to help the Russian peacekeepers. "I would like to assure you that the results of conducted exercises and inspections confirm that the troops of the North Caucasus Military Command are mission capable and ready to fulfill any combat tasks to provide for peace and stability in the region." In late July a task force of warships, support vessels and military aircraft of the Black Sea Fleet will conduct an unscheduled exercise in the eastern part of the Black Sea to practice joint operations of different warships and vessels, assault landing on a wind beach and lifting of the naval blockade, as well as fire at small high-speed surface and aerial targets.

It will be practically impossible to render efficient assistance with the framework of the peacekeeping operation, I hardly can imagine what degree of diplomatic shift and ingenuity would be needed to convince the world community in it. And I studied the problems of peacekeeping for a long time and in detail. So, the problem may be solved by rendering direct assistance to Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states through their political recognition and conclusion of respective agreements. If needed it may take a few hours only. The Kosovo precedent opens any opportunities.

Russia does not need "the Suvorov march" towards Tbilisi, it would be just unwise. On the other hand, it would be possible to efficiently meet Georgian tanks, and seal the borders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia with Georgia properly and now already for ever. By the way, it may look strange and rather blasphemous, but the aforesaid still unrecognized republics may found themselves among the winners of the chess game.

The United States of America. The chief player. It seems that the United States designed this military-political reshuffle in Transcaucasia as far back as the early 90s. The first sign of its implementation was a visit of a military instructor team to Georgia in the 90s in the time of Shevardnadze to train the Georgian Special Forces. This visit irritated Russia, but no further? The strategic goal of the United States in Transcaucasia is trite as usual. It is just a remake of the British policy here of the late XIX-early XX centuries. The fight for energy and in future the fight for potable water are the principal goals in the todays and future large military and political confrontations and wars. The Americans set a task for themselves in the first round of the chess tournament to establish a strong strategic military bridgehead in the key country of Transcaucasia, Georgia. To this end they are drawing it to NATO?

They need this bridgehead to make a political assault eastwards and southwards in the second round of the chess tournament with Russia in order to provide access to the hydrocarbon fields of the Caspian Sea and Central Asia, create a wide energy transit corridor from Central Asia to Turkey controlled only by the United States and get an opportunity to deal with Iran from the north, the most promising direction. Finally all these steps may make the USA "an energy world ruler". The first game of the tournament with Russia the Americans have practically won (I would like to emphasize for their own but not for the Georgian benefit). Of course, no Tomahawks, tanks and attacking Mariners are foreseeable. Our Georgian neighbors dream about them in vain. On the other hand, such actions as introduction of a multinational force into the Georgian territory consisting mainly of new young members and aspirants to members of NATO, invitation of former "Bandera's combatants" and "Latvian SS legionnaires" to make them run along the barbered wire on the new Georgian border as watchdogs rather than "Iron Wolves', to destabilize the situation by their barking, as well as establishment of US Air Force, Navy and Army bases and deployment of US ABM systems in Georgia are not only probable but rather expectable. The foundation for it has been laid already - it seems the first game has been practically won.

You may ask: And what about Georgia? As quoted from brilliant comedy Kin Dza Dza of Georgian producer Danelia: "The violinist is not needed any more" Georgians are just pawns in the chessboard. Finally Georgia "will solve" its internal conflicts (because Abkhazia and South Ossetia will become independent states) and will be successfully admitted to NATO. But it will lose a large part of its best territory (the poor landscape of Colchis with its center in Poti is never comparable with "the pastures of Heaven" in Sukhumi, Esheri and New Athos). It will lose its huge and only market outlet for its products (which are not needed in such amount to anybody else but Russia). I would not speak about energy component of the problem.

Georgia will suffer from a grave moral take-down. The Georgian leaders will have to explain to thousands of refugees from Abkhazia why now neither they, nor their children nor their grandchildren will ever return to their native land. Georgia will face an inevitable economic collapse - let's leave aside illusions: yet in the time of the Soviet Union Georgians liked to semi-joke calling their country the FRG (the Federal Republic of Georgia) they unlikely may expect the Marshall Plan aid from the United States as it was provided to Germany after WWII because for the Americans it would be misinvestment in the already closed project. Finally Georgia as sure as fate would degrade to "the failed state". Proud-hearted Dzigits will have look for better life in the teams of mercenaries or work as kitchen servants or barbeque men in the American bases because they will get at least some money there. And graceful mountainous girls will have to look for vacancies in the conditions of tough competition in bordellos in the same bases. I hate to injure anybody's pride. My heart is bleeding. But, brothers-Georgians, you will have no other choice.

A few words about the Georgian expat community in Russia. Up to 1.5 million Georgians live here including common laborers, who came to Russia to earn their living, "mafia bosses", workers of culture, former politicians and generals, businessmen. All of them live not so bad here, and even send good money to their families thus in fact providing for multi-billion proceeds to the Georgian state budget. All this time the Georgian expat community strangely keeps mum. What is it? Hatred towards Russia, efforts to save own skin, or just devil-may-care attitude to the historical Homeland? And this expat community could exert serious political influence on the developments in Georgia that are trending to the worst scenario. What do these people feel reliance in: In their criminal, corruption or friendly relations with powerful Russian politicians? It is not impossible that in vain. As a retired military and a man who knows not so bad the history of wars I may say that in accordance with the established international practice the citizens of the country, with which the country where they currently reside in is involved in hostilities or armed conflict, are subject to immediate deportation and isolation. It happened to the Russian and French expat communities in Germany in WWI, it happened to the Japanese expat community in the USA and Volga Germans in the USSR in WWII. It will happen always and everywhere., because it is the law of war: nobody wants to have a "fifth column" in his country in the period of armed confrontation. Those who violate this law for any cause will be bound to have great problems. Believe me, I am not an ill-natured Russian chauvinist. I am a Russian Orthodox, educated from my youth in ideals of internationalism that may be confirmed by my former UNTSO colleagues in more than twenty countries of the world. But the aforesaid is the realities of life. The passive position of the Georgian expat community in such difficult time of Georgia is its own choice.

And finally, I would like to say a few words about Russia. We have to recognize that the first game of the chess tournament in Transcaucasia we almost lost to the Americans. We should be grateful for it to our politicians and diplomats of the last fifteen years. Thanks to their good graces and due to their flagrant incompetence we have got a fierce enemy in the person of Georgia by 2008. And there is just no need in bla bla bla today about different attitudes of the Georgian leaders and common Georgians to us. Meanwhile not so long ago in 1992 the attitude of both state leaders and common people to Russia was very friendly. That time I had to travel across the country by car from Tbilisi to Poti, stay almost for six weeks in very disturbed areas of Georgia and see the last outbreaks of civil hostilities between supporters of Gamsakhurdia and Shevardnadze in Poti. I remember that one my phrase that I am Russian from Moscow and this is my friend, was enough to save the life of my familiar Mengrel (West Georgian) in Poti after the city was captured by the troops of Ioseliani.

But the entire tournament in Transcaucasia is not over and has not been lost yet. The American victory is intrinsically evil, and if this evil is exposed competently, it will be quite possible to neutralize the Americans in endgame. But it is another story?

Our Georgian neighbors still have a chance to retrieve the situation, ?stop and look around?. Time is pressing. The chess clock flag is about to fall but the night is young. Brothers Georgians, Orthodox Christians, recollect that the Devil is a big deceiver!