Saakashvili and Cadet corps remember 'real massacre' of 1921
By Salome Modebadze
Monday, February 28
President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili met the Cadet Corps at the Museum of Occupation on February 25. Recollecting the “real massacre” caused by the Soviet occupation (in 1921) Saakashvili appealed to the young officers never to forget this “titanic sacrifice.” The President called it a “great tragedy” when the Georgians were deprived of their sovereignty and the right to independent life. “It is clear that many things are forgotten together with time, but how can we forget that 80,000 people were shot on Georgian territory from 1921 to 1953 and 200 000 persons were exiled,” he said, worrying how easily the “ruthless empire” had than bereaved the Georgian statehood.
February 25 had been declared as a holiday by the “brutal irony of the empire.” Attempting to change undesirable pages of our history fictitiously, the Soviet empire had thus tried to make Georgians forget the true importance of the date and celebrate Georgia’s unification to the Soviet regime. “But no one used to tell us that the red flag was painted by the blood of our national heroes fighting for independence and was raised on the dead bodies of your ancestors,” Saakashvili addressed the young cadets asking “to take care of each attribute that provides our independence.”
Stressing the necessity for realizing the meaning of February 25 for Georgians, Saakashvili encouraged society “to learn lessons from the results of occupation.” He also highlighted the fact that a significant part of the Georgian territory is still occupied by the same empire dreaming to emancipate Georgia’s sovereignty. “There is only one difference: this empire was newly born then and now it is dying,” he then stated. Emphasizing that Russia has now lost its influence, Saakashvili explained that Georgia has remained Russia’s last means for maintaining the position and status of an empire.
Giving the historical reasons for Georgia’s aspiration “to return to European interior”, the President spoke of Georgia as “the country setting new standards” on a regional level. Welcoming the fact that the ethnic diversities had unanimously signed Georgia’s Independence Declaration, Saakashvili pointed out how these people support Georgia's European and democratic way.
Saakashvili explained to the youth how the situation has changed in Georgia nowadays. Welcoming the “strategically thinking” political class formed in the country during recent years, the President emphasized that their actions and ideology follow the democratic values aimed at Georgia’s development and protection. “We, because of the lack of political guidelines, almost exploded on every bomb that was put on a target. All of us were snared in a trap that had been set much earlier but we have managed to maneuver in the right way,” Saakashvili said, stressing that Georgians have now been trying to build the state that reaches success and becomes exemplary for others.
The President emphasized how the current political class had succeeded in the creation of state institutions, how the Georgian citizens acknowledged their responsibility towards the state and how the state fulfils its major obligations towards its citizens.
Suggesting restoring the mental and physical attributes destroyed by the Soviet empire, Saakashvili said that Georgia has managed to prove its independence to the world. Encouraging the young generations to defend and unite their country as their ancestors used to do, the President spoke of the importance of a strong army consisting of high ranking experienced officers.
“The world crisis affects us. We are still unsecured socially and economically, but if we didn’t allow others to fumble in our affairs and choose the right policy we will maintain independence as Singapore did until it became one of the wealthiest states of the world,” said the President adding that Georgia has become stronger with the support of its international friends and the unlimited potential of Georgian people would be the guarantee for further success.
Political analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili spoke of the historical importance of the Soviet occupation to The Messenger. “We, Georgians are the eyewitnesses of the heroism of our ancestors fighting against the Russian Army. But some of the Georgian population met the hostile militarists with flowers and applause… Terror had been established in Georgia from the very first year of occupation but 80 years is a long time. Comparing Russia in through the years 1921-2011 we may only refer to the mentality of Russian people which might not have changed,” Tsiskarishvili stated.
Explaining that cooperation between Georgia and Russia would still be possible politically, the analyst emphasized how “the obsessions” of particular Georgian political figures “endanger such cooperation.” Stressing that we have no contemporary Sergo Orjonikidze (who led a Bolshevik invasion in 1921) in Georgia, Tsiskarishvili said that the Government tries to strengthen the term “occupation” in society by creating a myth about its predecessors.
Talking of the achievements carried out by the current political class in Georgia, Tsiskarishvili said that “the economy is not the strongest suit of the President.” Pointing out that his advisers often make controversial suggestions and confuse the country the analyst told us that “only the naive foreign friends of the President could believe that the ruling party is following democratic values in Georgia.” “Nice words can’t change effective decisions. If the Georgian people respect the Government for GEL 20-30 allowances and believes in the existence of an economic paradise in the country it would only be a step back for us,” he said stressing the need for systemic changes in Georgia.