By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
19 August 2008
The US and its NATO allies have presented a distorted picture of the conflict between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia and Abkhazia. And the western media have stridently acted as the purveyor of US imperialist propaganda. The hypocrite George W. Bush has spearheaded the propaganda campaign by misrepresenting Russia as the aggressor and violator of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia in the current Russian-Georgian conflict.
In fact, Georgia unleashed the aggression against South Ossetia and against the Russian peacekeeping force there by raining artillery fire, missiles and bombs on the capital city of Tskhinvali and sending an invasionary armored force against it on August 7 and 8. Hundreds of civilians were killed. Russian peacekeeping troops were also killed and wounded. Only subsequently did the Russian military forces retaliate and take over the Georgian city of Gori.
On the day before the Georgian aggression against South Ossetia, a joint US-Georgian military exercise was completed. It was called “Immediate Response 2008” and involved more than 1,000 US Army, Marine and National Guard troops. The US air force had ferried from Iraq 2,000 Georgian troops. Georgia maintains the third largest contingent of the occupation forces in Iraq.
It is very clear that Georgia would not have gone on its military adventure without backing from the US. The US has trained the Georgian army since 1991. It has provided Georgia with more than $1 billion in “aid” and has been the No. 1 source of foreign direct investments. Soon after the Georgian aggression, the US mobilized more US military forces to go into Georgia under the pretext of humanitarian mission of providing food and other supplies to the country’s population.
The US and the European Union within the NATO framework are involved in the armed conflict between Russia and Georgia. Russia has long been alert and sensitive to the expansion of the NATO towards the Russian borders and to the CIA-engineered “Rose revolution” that put the rabid US puppet Mikhail Saakashvili in power. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia has been alarmed by the fact that countries at its borders become satellites of US imperialism. Through direct and indirect means, the US has spread its hegemony to the Baltic, Caspian and other regions.
Emboldened by US and NATO support and the US promise of NATO membership for Georgia, Saakashvili has long undertaken provocations against Russia and angled for the fortification of Georgia as a base of US military and economic power and as key point for the oil pipelines extending from Central Asia and the Caspian Sea. To stay in power, he has been subservient to and dependent on US imperialism and has frenziedly drummed up Georgian nationalism against other nationalities in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. These were autonomous regions within the Georgia Soviet Socialist Republic in the Soviet era.
When the Soviet Union disintegrated, Georgia became a separate country and annulled South Ossetia’s autonomous status. It imposed Georgian as the official language and chauvinist policies on the people. Rebellions broke out in which the Georgian military killed an estimated 1,000 South Ossetians . South Ossetia declared independence and in a referendum conducted in November 2006, ninety-eight percent voted for independence.
Georgia’s attack on South Ossetia is aimed at taking back control of the breakaway region. The US backs Georgia on this for its own imperialist interests in the area. Georgia’s reactionary nationalism fits well into the hegemonic designs of US imperialism. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the danger of war has increased due to a multiplicity of sharpening contradictions at various levels, between the US and NATO on one side and Russia on the other side, between Russia and the surrounding states and between pro-US and pro-Russian forces within these states.
Since the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc and the emergence of the US as the sole superpower, US imperialism has adopted a policy of preventing any prospective rival from challenging its global supremacy. It wants Russia to remain weak and yielding to US demands. It therefore promoted the so-called multi-color revolutions in the small countries in the periphery of Russia, among them Georgia, in order to draw these small states away from Russia and bring them into the US orbit through offers of economic and military aid.
Since Mikhail Saakashvili’s assumption of power in 2004 after the US-instigated “Rose revolution”, Georgia has turned more and more to the US and the EU to promote Georgia’s narrow nationalist interests. He has openly declared his desire for Georgia to join the NATO military alliance. US State Secretary Condoleeza Rice who was in Tsblisi in the first week of July declared that the US supported Georgia’s application for NATO membership and that granting NATO Membership Action Plan to Georgia would help resolve the Abkhazian and South Ossetian problems.
It is quite revealing of the puppetry of the Saakashvili regime to US imperialism that Georgia, which is small country with an army of 37,000, could send 2,000 troops running next only to the US and Britain as the largest foreign contingent among the occupation forces in Iraq. But that is the obligation imposed on Georgia in line with its having become a US imperialist outpost at the border of Russia, which the US regards as a rival and potential enemy.
The US has been building military bases and deploying troops in Georgia, Central Asia and other former Soviet Republics. In 2002, it set up a base in Kyrgyzstan which borders China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Base agreements have also been concluded with Pakistan and two other former Soviet republics, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. US warplanes are already deployed at Kandabad air base at Karshi, Uzbekistan, backed by 1,000 US ground troops.
US imperialism knows no bounds in the pursuit of its scheme to prevail as the sole superpower against the trend of multipolarity. The 1992 Defense Policy Guidance paper, authored by the neocons Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis Libby, explicitly declares that the dominant consideration for US strategy is to prevent the emergence of Russia or any other country as a new rival. The policy categorically includes “pre-emptive war” and the use of nuclear weapons. The sharpening contradictions between the US and Russia as two imperialist powers, with huge nuclear arsenals, are bound to inflame the new world of disorder.
The ILPS decries the hypocritical US preachings about respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries and about honoring international conventions. US imperialism is the number No. 1 violator of international conventions and norms. It has launched wars of aggression unilaterally ignoring the United Nations and the universally accepted principles and norms in international relations. It lacks any moral standing to preach to others while it continues to flagrantly violate the sovereignty of Iraq and Afghanistan by its invasion and continued occupation of these countries.
We the International League of Peoples’ Struggle call on the people of the world to demand that US imperialism get out of the Caucasus and the Balkans, that the US and NATO cease to engage in military intervention and aggression and that the imperialist powers US, European Union and Russia and their puppets cease to generate wars and threaten the people of the world with a nuclear war. ###