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Georgia Attacked South Ossetia and the U.s. Supported It!

by Michael Webster: Investigative Reporter Aug 16, 2008 12:01 PM PDT


L.A. Times reported that Russia and its allied forces destroyed a key railway bridge linking war-weary Georgia’s capital to the Black Sea coast, and blow up Georgian coast guard and other vessels, effectively severing all east-west transportation routes within the small country, the Georgian Foreign Ministry announced. The move came a day after the Georgian president signed a French-backed cease-fire proposal during a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Russian soldiers occupying the central Georgian town of Gori also pushed forward 14 miles toward the capital, Tbilisi, setting up positions on the country’s main east-west road 25 miles from the capital. Adjacent agricultural fields were set afire, apparently by Russian soldiers.

Global Research’s Michel Chossudovsky reported that during the night of August 7, coinciding with the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, Georgia’s president Saakashvili ordered an all-out military attack on Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia. 

The aerial bombardments and ground attacks were largely directed against civilian targets including residential areas, hospitals and the university. The provincial capital Tskhinvali was destroyed. The attacks resulted in some 1500 civilian deaths, according to both Russian and Western sources.  “The air and artillery bombardment left the provincial capital without water, food, electricity and gas. Horrified civilians crawled out of the basements into the streets as fighting eased, looking for supplies.” (AP, August 9, 2008). According to reports, some 34,000 people from South Ossetia have fled to Russia. (Deseret Morning News, Salt Lake City, August 10, 2008) 

The importance and timing of this military operation must be carefully analyzed. It has far-reaching implications. 

Georgia is an outpost of US and NATO forces, on the immediate border of the Russian Federation and within proximity of the Middle East Central Asian war theater. South Ossetia is also at the crossroads of strategic oil and gas pipeline routes. 

NATO encouraged Georgia to attack according to Russian envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin. He sent an official note to representatives of all member countries in Brussels in connection with Georgia’s military actions against South Ossetia. He’s calling on them not to support Mikhail Saakashvili.

Russia has already begun consultations with the ambassadors of the NATO countries and with NATO military representatives. Rogozin said. “We will caution them against continuing to further support of Saakashvili.”

Rogozin says Georgian aggression against South Ossetia is obvious. “It is an undisguised aggression accompanied by a mass propaganda war,” he said.

Rogozin has linked Friday’s onslaught to the support given to Saakashvili at the recent NATO summit in Bucharest.  At the meeting, Rogozin says, it “was hinted Georgia has prospects in NATO.”

South Ossetia close to humanitarian disaster Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says he hopes Georgia’s Western partners take note of what has happened in South Ossetia and draw conclusions.

“It all confirms our numerous warnings addressed to the international community that it is necessary to pay attention to massive arms purchasing by Georgia during several years. Now we see how these arms and Georgian special troops who had been trained by foreign and U.S. specialists are used,” he said.

They also accused the Georgian authorities of ignoring the UN Security Council’s call to observe a ceasefire during the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Meanwhile, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili told CNN on Friday that Russia “is waging war against Georgia”. Claims over 2,000 Georgians have been killed during the Russian invasion so far.

He said it was in the interests of the USA to help Georgia.

“It concerns not only Georgia -it concerns the U.S. and its values. We are a freedom-loving country which is being attacked,” Saakashvili said.

Georgia has called on the U.S. and other countries to put pressure upon Russia “to put an end to a military aggression” in South Ossetia, Georgian ambassador to the U.S. Vasil Sikharulidze told the American media on Friday.

“We ask our friends, including the U.S., to be mediators and try persuading Russia to stop this military aggression and incursion into Georgia,” Sikharulidze said.

Earlier U.S. president George W. Bush said the U.S. supports the territorial integrity of Georgia.  

The President of the breakaway republic of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity claims about 1,400 people have been killed by Georgian shelling.
“It is the third genocide of the Ossetian people from the side of Georgia, and Saakashvili is the main murderer,” Kokoity said.

In connection with the escalating tensions in South Ossetia, Abkhazia’s armed forces have moved to the border with Georgia, the breakaway republic’s president Sergey Bagapsh said on Friday.

“Irrespective of the development of situation in South Ossetia, we won’t stop moving to the border with Georgia. Today they launch a military aggression against South Ossetia and tomorrow it could be Abkhazia. It cannot go on like that,” Bagapsh said.

Meanwhile the EU has called for an immediate cessation of violence. It says it’s ‘deeply concerned’ about the dramatic escalation in the conflict between Tbilisi and its separatist republic.

A spokesman for the EU Council said The Union’s high representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, had spoken to Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili on Thursday. He said Solana urged Saakashvili to show restraint and to return to the negotiating table.

Javier Solana’s spokesperson, Cristina Gallach, said on Friday that urgent action is needed to stop a further loss of lives.

“We are extremely concerned with the latest developments and we think that it is very regrettable that there has been loss of lives. The most urgent thing at the moment is to calm the situation down,” she said.

The NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has called on the authorities of Georgia and South Ossetia to stop the violence and to restore peaceful negotiations.

U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, Told the president today at the Crawford ranch that she also urged Russia to stop attacks on Georgia, respect its territorial integrity and withdraw its troops from Georgian territory. There is a ceasefire in effect but no one seems to be honoring it. Russia is promising to pull out of Georgia but as of this writing they have not. Russia has cut the country vividly in half and is controlling the roads and the harbors, hence controlling commerce including the flow of Georgia’s oil pipeline. The EU is not expected to do anything either as Russia already controls forty percent of all of Europe’s natural gas and an even larger percentage of their oil.

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