Sunday, August 10, 2008

Greed in the Caucuses: Another War

So I've been reading up on the Russia-Georgia war that's started over the breakaway region of South Ossetia. The Ossetians declared independence from Georgia in 1992, but the international community has refused to recognize that independence.

On the 8th of this month, the Ossetians and Georgians began fighting yet again. But this time, Russia has entered the fray, claiming that Georgia was committing "complete genocide" and hinting that it was ready to absorb South Ossetia into Russian territory - something that the Ossetians have been asking for since "independence," as the majority of Southern Ossetians hold Russian passports.

It's funny how major powers use lofty ideals like freedom and humanitarianism to justify their invasions of other lands. Like the U.S. in Iraq, Russia is forcing itself onto Ossetian territory to "free" the local peoples from some great tyrant.

While I totally respect the Ossetian calls for independence (the Ossetians are cousins of the Circassians, after all), I don't think the Russian government is particularly concerned about the "complete genocide" they accuse Georgia of committing. Especially when the Russians have been committing atrocities, including genocide, against the Chechnyans since the late 1800s. What Russia and U.S.-backed Georgia seem to care most about in this situation is not what the Ossetians want, but what works for the interests of their own governments.

For the Russians, and other major world powers, such situations are not a debate over humanitarian ideals. They are a fight for power.

Some links:

4 comments:

TEK2022 said...

So I'm not too up-to-date on the Georgia situation. Exactly what is it in Ossetia that is worth fighting for?

Nour Merza said...

It's not so much about resources or anything. It's more about territory, power and sovereignty. Russia believes it's once again tough enough to invade and conquer other lands. Here it's flexing its imperialistic muscles and saying to other nations, "just try and stop me!"

Check out the link on the words "South Ossetia" in the post. It'll take you to a BBC site with some background on the territory.

TEK2022 said...

From what I picked up, it seems that the Ossetians want to be a part of Russia, so is it really that bad that the Russians want to take them in?
Kinda like Georgia is holding the Ossetians hostage and Russia is trying to free them.

Ravza said...

Today I have watched the news, I think the situation is getting better, but who knows what Abkhasians will do. Actually, at the beggining of the war, I was expecting Circassians to involve the conflict, but so far they are quiet. Caucasia is not a very big teritory but has 70 different languages inside. It can show how culturally rich this part of the world is, and how hard to sustain peace over there. It is too sad to see innocent people suffering because of some countries' interests...