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Subject: Georgia Behind Highschool Hostage-Taking
sanman    9/2/2004 1:30:35 PM
I believe that the govt of Georgia is behind the Highschool hostage situation. Note that this event is happening in the Russian province of North Ossetia, right by the Georgian border. Note that neighboring South Ossetia, which is a breakaway province of Georgia, has been the site of military clashes between the Georgian military and the separatists of South Ossetia who have set up their own de-facto govt, a la Taiwan or Cyprus. Only Russia recognizes South Ossetia, and is often accused by Georgia of backing the separatist South Ossetia with mercenery troops and other covert military aid, in addition to open economic aid and commerce. As you know, the Georgians and Russians are at loggerheads over South Ossetia. Similarly, Russia frequently accuses Georgia of being the prime provider of assistance to the Chechen guerrillas (I'd imagine they'd be bigger backers than AlQaeda, given the natural territorial interests here) Recently, Georgia successfully launched a surprise military offensive to seize strategic highground from the South Ossetia separatist forces. I'd imagine that must have given the triumphant Georgians some breathing room in dealing with the Russians. Logically, they'd now be looking to capitalize on that, and put the Russians on the back foot. Something like this hostage-taking in North Ossetia could do that. It'd get the locals upset and angry, making accusations of Moscow incompetence, yada yada. Logically then, the escalating violence by separatists in southern Russia should then closely follow escalating violence by separatists in Georgia. The two patterns of escalation will mirror each other. In my opinion, that makes Georgia an extremely poor candidate for NATO membership. And hell, NATO is winding down anyway, with the troop pullbacks being the latest nail in the coffin. Whaddya say people? Any other armchair analysts out there agree with me? I think I'm right on the money. Damn, we need a geo-political betting pool here or something, hehe. Sort of like what Poindexter wanted. Then we can make money off of reading the geo-political tea leaves. ;)
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Big Bad Pariah    RE:Georgia Behind Highschool Hostage-Taking   9/3/2004 12:28:55 AM
Georgia isn't involved in this. Firstly, Chechen terrorists aided the separatist region of Abkhazia against the Georgian military during the conflict of the 1990s. Secondly, Georgia is attempting to bring stability back to the Caucasus. The current crisis in Russia's North Ossetian region is going to further destabilize the region. Russia has been looking for an excuse to further interfer in the affairs of other former Soviet republics like Georgia. If Georgia was aiding Chechen terrorists, then Russia would no doubt take military action. Georgia doesn't want to risk a military attack from Russia (Russia already unofficially bombed Georgia a few years back). Lastly, Georgia's current president is trying desperatly to improve relations with the West. He is American educated and a very close ally of the Bush administration. He has asked for UN involvement in the region on several occassions. He doesn't seem like the type of person to support terrorism.
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sanman    RE:Georgia Behind Highschool Hostage-Taking   9/3/2004 1:51:23 PM
LOL, I knew that if anybody were to rebutt this post, it would be you, BBP. I'm not Russian, but I sense you have a significant anti-Russian bent, given the posts I've seen from you. I agree that the Chechens are likely to sell out even their Georgian patrons, to advance their cause. If the Chechens felt they could get momentary gain thru quid-pro-quo with the Abkhaz separatists, they'll do it for sure. But the Georgians will still feel fine about backing the Chechens just to keep the Russians off balance. After all, the main accusations made by Georgia on assistance to Abkhaz, Ossetians, etc, are made against Russia. Naturally, the Georgians will want the Russians bogged down as much as possible, since they are the biggest adversary. Hell, it's obvious that nobody in Tbilisi is going to publicly announce they are providing material support to the Chechens, just like the Russians wouldn't say the same for Abkhaz separatists. The Russians and the Georgians are obviously each backing the other's separatists to keep arm-twisting each other. At one time, Israel used to give a little support to Hamas, to try to keep pressure on Arafat/PLO. But when Hamas started becoming too strong a threat, then naturally Israel regretted it. Iraq and Turkey have at times backed various Kurd factions to harass the other side. You back the lesser threat to take on the bigger threat, and there are plenty of precedents in history to show that. In this case, I'd say GOOD FENCES MAKE FOR GOOD NEIGHBORS. That whole Caucasus area is packed tight like a sardine can. There are more liberation movements in that area than there are people to liberate. These people need strong walls to separate themselves from each other. Otherwise, they'll each be constantly elbowing the other in the gut, as they jostle in that crowded space. The Caucasus reminds me of the Balkans. Like I said, no wonder a Georgian named Stalin (Djugashvili) fell in love with Communism. I bet his experiences growing up in his homeland played no small part in shaping his perspective.
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Big Bad Pariah    RE:Georgia Behind Highschool Hostage-Taking   9/3/2004 1:53:38 PM
Anti-Russian? If so, I'd hate myself (although I'm not a Russian citizen, I am of Russian heritage).
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Big Bad Pariah    RE:Georgia Behind Highschool Hostage-Taking   9/3/2004 1:59:53 PM
"The Caucasus reminds me of the Balkans" Agreed. However, I'd say the Caucasus is twice as violitile. Conflicts in southern Russia, Georgia and Azerbaijan seem to have no end in sight.
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