Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Georgian Crisis: The Islam Connection

Prospect magazine has a must-read article "Caucasian Favours" on the situation in the Caucasus region in general, written by Daniel J Gerstle, a writer and human rights consultant.

Although according to some commentators the post inevitably comes along with a certain amount of bias, the writer's wish to deliver an objective piece of backdrop information was largely successful, specifically where the historical background is concerned:

(...) to understand why Russia’s response to the Georgian attack on South Ossetia was so strong, it helps to understand the role played by Russia’s southern ethnic minorities. Today, Russia's top national security concern is the Islamic radical insurgency ravaging its southern republics. The insurgency and the two Chechen wars which spawned it have killed well over 100,000 Russian citizens. By 2001, Russian federal and Chechen loyalist forces had largely beaten Islamic rebels. But with its attention focused on Chechnya, the Kremlin lost an advantage. Islamic radicals began recruiting disgruntled Muslim fighters all across the southern federal district and the conflict spread to the neighbouring Russian republics of Ingushetia, Dagestan, Kalbardino-Balkaria and Karachai-Cherkessia. The Kremlin has succeeded in securing the loyalties of all of the minority governments across the southern republics, including Chechnya, but the insurgency persists in a series of shootouts and bombings throughout southern Russia. With the insurgency still threatening to undermine regional governments, including that of North Ossetia, Russia desperately needed to find a way to re-consolidate its alliances among southern leaders. Russia’s protection of threatened South Ossetians in Georgia, in co-operation with North Ossetia, has done more to rally Kremlin allies there than any other political event since the terror attack on Beslan, North Ossetia, in 2004. Even Chechen special forces loyal to Moscow, who had taken a break from fighting insurgents at home, were spotted waving to photographers on their ride into battle in Tskhinvali, the devastated capitol of South Ossetia, on the frontline of Russia’s advance. Because of Russia’s action in Georgia, not only did North Ossetians move closer to union with South Ossetia, but southern leaders who represent minorities like the Cherkess, Kabardins, and Adyg, were able to bring their people closer to their ethnic brethren in Abkhazia. Southern leaders without ties to Georgia, like the Chechens and Ingush, joined in this fight to win points from Moscow as well as to repay neighbouring governments for the blood they sacrificed in the ongoing counter-insurgency (...)

The article ignited comments on the associated blog "First Drafts" that in narrative and idiom offer unintended insight how innuendo and false inferences prop up anti American prejudices, notably in reference to that 'American client' Saakashvili (alternatively referred to as hothead, popinjay, or loose canon): like Iraq's Government, he's a priori suspect - no shocking revelations there.

One gullible commentator refers us to a 'plausible' 'key-hole' story on Times Online, written by a committee of four on the basis of unspecified 'sources.' "The new cold war hots up" reads that ...

"(...) the US State Department’s internal timeline of the crisis pinpoints the explosion on August 1 of two roadside bombs, believed to have been planted by South Ossetian separatists sympathetic to Russia, as a decisive moment. Five Georgian policemen were injured, one severely.(...) It now appears that August 1 was a well-prepared “provocation” – one of the Kremlin’s favourit tactics. (...) the Georgian leader last week angrily said he had repeatedly warned Washington and EU countries that the Russians were preparing a military operation against Georgia but that he had been brushed aside. (...)"

That Georgian leader's claim is born out by the one year old article posted here yesterday ... the Russians have been hurling missiles at Georgia since August 2007. That in mind, puts the article's claim of the "US State Department's internal timeline of August 1" in certain light.

Since treason is second nature to the followers of relativist ideologies, it should come as no surprise that their mental radar screen remains virgin to the fact that the hothead merely did his prime duty as a leader, namely defending the people and the territory in his keeping.

Next stop: today's NATO emergency meeting in Brussels.

Here's the PDF to Daniel J Gerstle's entire article on Prospect, "Caucasian Favours."

- Filed on Articles in "Caucasian Heat" -


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