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Common sense against invasion

By Tengiz Ablotia
Georgia Online, 07 September '12

In the last few years it has become normal to expect almost every month another invasion of the Russian army to "complete the work, unfinished in August 2008" - that is, not only changing the power in the country, but also changing its foreign and internal policy.

Such concerns can be understood after the August [2008] aggression. They are also well-supported by our people's natural tendency for intrigues, drawing versions and conspiracy theories, even in the most clear and transparent situations.

In particular, our people are deeply convinced that the US, which is the main guarantor of our independence and relative safety, will handle Georgia to Russia in exchange for something bigger - Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, Libya, and now even for Syria or Iran.

Each time it appeared that fears were unfounded, and each time our restless countrymen, years after, would be trapped into another conspiracy theory or another alleged "exchange".

It is difficult for them to understand, that superpowers trade their allies very, very rarely - they can give up their influence in the country, which generally does not express clearly the desire to cooperate with them, but even that does not happen often. Superpower, which "trades" allies, won't carry its title for too long, as it will become known that it sold its ally like socks.

Thus, there is no real risk that Georgia will be traded in the game of major countries.

Of course, this does not exclude the possibility of a new invasion, as well as it did not excluded the outbreak of a war in August 2008.

Coming back to present time we have to admit that attention of Georgian society is currently focused on the military training "Kavkaz-2012" (Caucasus 2012), which coincides (an interesting coincidence) with our parliamentary elections – from, which it is concluded that Moscow is preparing for another invasion. It is worth of thinking - is it a likely scenario?

First of all, I would like to note that many of our politicians and experts don't have quite right idea about Russian leadership - they believe that today's Russia is limitless state that has no rules, no obligations to anyone, and does everything that comes to its mind. In reality, this is not entirely true.

In fact, Russia is trying to play by international rules in foreign policy – understood in their own way, twisted, misinterpreted, but still - rules.

This is primarily reflected in the fact that Moscow has done nothing that could not have a parallel in the West's actions. For example, the question rises - why did Moscow waited with the beginning of war until August of 2008, why did not it invade Georgia immediately, without trying to create an excuse, why did it waste time on bombing Georgian villages - if Putin and Medvedev are international lawless players?

The thing is that Russia, as I said earlier, is trying to copy the West. You have recognized Kosovo - we recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia, you had an operation to force Serbia to peace - we did the same in Georgia. If not the recognition of Kosovo by the West, Russia would have never done the same in case of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, even if Saakashvili would have called Putin a Lilliputin hundred times live on TV (Russian press speculated that Saakashvili, reportedly, called the Russian president a lilliputin at a private meeting. This could not be verified, but became a ground for speculations in the Russian press for some period few years ago). The provocation in early August was needed exactly for this purpose - to force Georgia to respond and then act in the same way, as NATO did in Serbia.

That is why I find it funny to hear our liberals wailing that the war could have been avoided just by not responding to the bombings. War was inevitable - and not because Putin was offended by Misha [President Mikheil Saakashvili], but because he had to urgently settle the score with the West – and he had no chances to avoid that.

Today the score in regional issues is 1:1.

Therefore, Russia is not trying to set provocation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, there is a silence there now, so unusual for many years.

But there is another game where the score is 1-0 so far. That is Libya.

Here Russia has the opportunity to show up its imagination and creative energy.

But in this case situation should develop by Libyan scenario - that is, the government destroys the opposition, shoots at civilians – and then the brave 58th Army comes to help the people of Georgia - the score is 1-1.

Stupid and timid attempt to play this scenario took place in May 2011, but then revolution, which was prepared by a fool Nino Burjanadze, failed before it even started, and turned into a farce, instead of a tragedy.

In October, Georgia has very heavy and difficult elections - no doubt, the Russian army will closely monitor everything that happens after the votes. And Kavkaz-2012 training does not have direct relation to it. It is something else - if we give Russia a reason, it will by all means use one, with "Kavkaz-2012" or without it.

Russia simulates international law - it will not intervene with Georgia until it finds a good reason for that. The role of the trigger can play a real, full-scale shooting and street fights - the war between supporters of National Movement and Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Honestly, today I do not see a possibility for such scenario - I do not think that supporters of Ivanishvili are ready to play the role of provocateurs, and let a hostile [Russian] army enter into their own country.

Also, in general, everything is in the hands of the government. We just have to hold normal elections, and not to "steal" too much. Moreover, I am sure that if the authorities allow small, just within a few percentage, manipulation of the election results, supporters of Ivanishvili will make a noise a bit, but eventually will reconcile [with the results]. The main thing is to know the limits, and not be too greedy.

So, now everything is in our hands. And if we do not do something silly, the Russian army will remain in the barracks.

And a few words about crazy theories regarding "corridor between Russia and Armenia" in case of war between the West and Iran. This is considered as a possible option for the Russian invasion in Georgia, without need for additional reasons.

Theoretically, it is possible - if the West invades Iran, Russia would be able to respond to this by invading Georgia - and then the score would be 1:1 again.

But in reality, talks on invasion of Iran have been continuing for 10 years, and one could have finally understood that no one in the West would dare to get into the 80-million-big Iran, even for the sake of Israel. The most what can be expected - is air strikes on nuclear facilities, and even that is very unlikely.

Thus, in the nearest future, a new Russian-Georgian war is quite realistic But the Georgian society has all chances to prevent it.

All it needs is just a little bit of common sense.

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