Friday, August 15, 2008

Over the past week war has raged in the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia. In response to a massive Georgian invasion and violation of a previous cease fire Russian troops have retaliated by driving out the Georgian army and pressing further into Georgia itself. There are, of course, rights on wrongs on both sides of such a conflict. Molly is somebody who takes a rather dismal view of state propaganda, and who therefore realizes that there are elements of truth ijn atrocity stories claimed by both sides in such a conflict. A few things are certain when one views this mini-war. One is that, once more, as in so many other recent conflicts the American Empire will rat on their presumptive allies in the interests of larger matters. This stretches all the way back to 1956 and the Hungarian Revolution. Hope springs eternal and also fantasies spring eternal as well. The Georgian government is merely the latest in a long list of presumed "allies" of America who have no realistic view of how the Empire operates, who believe its rhetoric rather than its reality. So sad, and you can be sure that such lessons of history will never be learned, and that others will do likewise in the future.
Another certainty is that Georgia has just scuttled its chances of joining either NATO or the EU for the foreseeable future. Georgia, after all, started the war by its invasion of South Ossetia and thereby proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that it is an unreliable, adventurist entity that would be a detriment to either alliance rather than an asset. These actions have also probably scuttled the chances of countries like Ukraine to join the EU. Perhaps set them back for decades. They have also scuttled the chances for a near term rapprochement between Russia and Western Europe, something I suppose the American Empire is very happy to see. This effect may last for a shorter term than some imagine.
Another certainty is that there will be a "leftist" response to the conflict, centred especially in the USA, where a mindless "taking of sides" will be the way it is described. The throbbing heart of "anti-Americanism" is actually in the US left which, in its so-called innocence cannot imagine any evil in the world not connected with their own country. Knee jerk support for the Russian point of view will be their response, and this will not ,unfortunately, be confined to the decaying corpse of the old Communist Party. It will be the "common sense" of far too many in the USA (and those across the world who imitate the US left) who have fixated on their own empire to the exclusion of any common sense view of how states are the same the world over. Sad but true.
In contrast, here is a view from Russian anarchists that upholds the essential neutrality of anarchism when it comes to conflicts between states. It is a rare instance (perhaps it has never happened) when "right" is only on one side of such conflict From Avtonom, a Russian anarchist news site....

No to new Caucasian war!:

The eruption of military actions between Georgia and South Ossetia threatens to develop into a large-scale war between Georgia supported by NATO on the one hand, and the Russian state on the other. Thousands of people are already killed and wounded – principally, peaceful inhabitants; whole cities and settlements have been wiped out. The society has been flooded with muddy streams of a nationalist and chauvinistic hysteria.

As always and everywhere in conflicts between the states, there is not and cannot be the righteous in new Caucasian war - there are only the guilty. The coals which have been fanned for years now have caused a military fire. The Saakashvili regime in Georgia keeps two thirds of population in poverty, and the greater internal discontent in the country this causes, the more it desires to find a way out from the deadlock in the form of a "small victorious war" in the hope, that it can write everything off. The government of Russia is full of determination to keep the hegemony in the Caucasus. Today they pretend to be the defender of weak, but their hypocrisy is abundantly clear: in fact, Saakashvili only repeats what the Putinist soldiery did in Chechnya 9 years ago. Ruling circles of both Ossetias and Abkhazia aspire to strengthen their role as exclusive allies of Russia in the region, and at the same time to rally the impoverished population around the tested torch of the "national idea" and "rescue the people". Leaders of the USA, the European states and NATO, on the contrary, wish to weaken the influence of their Russian rivals in the Caucasus as much as possible to provide to themselves with control over fuel resources and their transport. Thus, we became witnesses and victims of the next coil of world opposition in struggle for power, oil and gas.

This fight does not bring to working people - Georgians, Ossets, Abkhasians or Russians - anything, except for blood and tears, incalculable disasters and deprivation. We express our deep sympathy to the friends and relatives of the victims, to the people which have been left without a roof over their head and means of subsistence as a result of this war.

We shouldn't fall under the influence of nationalist demagogy which demands unity with "our" government, flying the flag of "protecting the homeland". The main enemy of the simple people is not the poor brothers and sisters on the other side of the border or of other nationality. Their enemies are the rulers and bosses of all kinds, presidents and ministers, businessmen and generals, those who generate wars for the sake of multiplying power and riches. We call on the working people in Russia, Ossetias, Abkhazia and Georgia to reject the bait of nationalism and patriotism and to turn the anger on rulers and the rich on both sides of the border.

Russian, Georgian, Ossetic and Abkhazian soldiers! Do not obey the orders of your commanders! Turn your weapon against those who sent you to war! Do not shoot the soldiers of your "opponent" - fraternize with them: a bayonet in the ground!

Working people in the rear! Sabotage military efforts, leave to go to meetings and demonstrations against the war, organize yourselves and strike against it!

No to the war and to its organizers - rulers and rich men! Yes to solidarity of working people across borders and the front lines!

Federation of Education, Science and Technical Workers, CRAS-IWA
This declaration is open for signatures
(source: )

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