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At the very edge of confrontation

By Messenger staff
Monday, September 15
The war with Russia is over. The French President’s visit to Georgia had yielded some results, but these only highlight the scale of the defeat Tbilisi has suffered.

This sovereign country has been forced to choose between bad and worse. Bad is what we have now, worse would have been if Russia had been allowed to keep its so-called buffer zones, where it is still trying to prolong its stay regardless by preserving some of its checkpoints there. Georgia has lost territory, soldiers, citizens and some of its dignity. This is the reality.

The Saakashvili administration survived Russian tanks but now it is urgently trying to protect itself from the rage of the Georgian population. That is why it continually highlights only the positive news – the billions of promised dollars, the withdrawal of Russian troops from Poti and the problems the Russians are having with their economy and ethnic enclaves. PR mechanisms are being activated in a very professional way with the aim of improving people’s attitude towards the Executive. The opposition however has already started asking some questions, as the consequences of this defeat far exceed in scale those the country suffered in 1992-93 – consequences which, by the way, Saakashvili has severely criticized his predecessor, Shevardnadze, for inflicting upon Georgia. Now both sides, ruling party and opposition, are using the well-worn tactic of calling each other Russian agents of being formed in the enemy’s image thus making the existing gap between them irreconcilable.

The authorities, as well as some analysts, tell us that the Russian aggression is not over - it has only transformed and shifted from the military to the political sphere. Moscow will now try to force Saakashvili to step down as a result of internal pressure. Parallels are being drawn with the events of November 2007 and people are trying to detect the Kremlin’s hand in every political event. For example Tsotne, the son of first President of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia, has been detained and sentenced to two months preliminary detention. He is charged with attempting a coup and wounding a civilian some years ago. But the version suggested by some journalists is that the Government has detained Tsotne Gamsakhurdia to get him to name names of those he has collaborated with so that they and their parties can be discredited. The opposition has counterattacked by accusing Saakashvili and his team of deliberately getting involved in a military adventure so that Russia could get what it wanted and Saakashvili and his team could remain in power until the aggression was over.

Whatever the speculations, questions need to be answered, not only by minor representatives of the local administration and field commanders but the highest authorities. They should clear up any unclear points and reveal the missing pages of the story. Of course it is not excluded that Russia has inserted people into the Georgian opposition who supported its aggression from within. But Russian agents could also have been more useful to their masters if they were inside the governing body itself, as in a classic Cold War scenario. Think about it. So instead of making unverifiable general suggestions it would be better if the administration puts on the table reliable, true and clear documents about the “agents” who might be active in the opposition or the government mechanism itself and define the role each one has played.

Georgia is in the most grave situation today and needs to consolidate. All political forces have to unite for the sake of the country. Dialogue should be the only form of communication but not the imitation of dialogue. Figures of State have to prove that they are WORTHY MEMBERS OF SOCIETY and should SACRIFICE THEIR PERSONAL INTERESTS FOR THE INTERESTS OF THE NATION.