You Got to Be Kidding Me!

Michael Totten Reports From Tbilisi

Posted in Politics by Stacy McMahon on August 26, 2008

Michael Totten has a new dispatch with a blunt and shocking lede:

Virtually everyone believes Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili foolishly provoked a Russian invasion on August 7, 2008, when he sent troops into the breakaway district of South Ossetia. […]
Virtually everyone is wrong.

This from a conversation with Patrick Worms and Thomas Goltz, who he says are respectively a freelance investigator on the Georgian government payroll (with appropriate grains of salt) and an academic expert on the region who is not on any interested party’s payroll, but confirms everything Worms says.

Links are to Google – I don’t have time to look these guys up myself, but let me know if you find anything interesting…

Apparently the record shows that the fighting began on August 5th and 6th when Ossetian irregulars attacked Georgian peacekeepers (and later, Georgian villages inside Georgia) – not on August 7th when Georgian forces attacked Tshkinvali. That attack was a reaction to the entrance of Russian Army units, which thus also happened before the Georgians attacked Ossetia. In other words, if this is true then Russia planned this attack just like Hitler planned to attack Poland.

Something else to consider if you’re going with the “Georgians are ethnic cleansers just like the rest” explanation (emphasis added):

“Well,” Goltz said, “there are some details that I would chip in. Who are the Ossetians and where do they live? This is the question that has been lost in all of the static from this story. This autonomy [South Ossetia] is an autonomous district, as opposed to an autonomous republic, with about 60,000 people max. So, where are the rest of the Ossetians? Guess where they live? Tbilisi. Here. There. Everywhere.

[…]

“Are they on the side of those who live in South Ossetia?” I said.

“No,” he said. “One of them is Georgia’s Minister of Defense. Georgia is a multi-ethnic republic. And the whole point of the Ossetian ethnic question is this: South Ossetia is part of Georgia.”

Sound familiar?

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