Saturday, December 27, 2008

Abkhazia

It's not very often I read the London Review of Books and it's not very often I read an article about Abkhazia, especially a balanced one.

But Neal Ascherson's article in the current issue of the 'London Review of Books' caught my eye for its even-handedness, lack of frothing anti-Russian or anti-Georgian rhetoric and for raising a fundamental question. Ignore Putin's power-games and geo-political manoeuvrings behind Russia's recognition of Abkhaz independence, why shouldn't the West also recognise Abkhazia?

To champion the territorial integrity of Georgia is like championing the territorial integrity of the USSR, Spain, Austria-Hungary or any other state. The Abkhazians aren't Georgians, they're not a colonial implant which moved there with the power of a larger colonial power behind them, they're not a totally imagined community which is used as a proxy to undermine a colonised nation. They're an indigenous nation with their own language, history and will.

As Welsh nationalists we support independence of Georgia and their ability to chose their own leaders free of Russian interference, but we should also support the same principle to Abkhazia. After all, the Georgians bombed their national archives. Would Wales wish to be governed by a state which bombed its National Library? What more graphic image does one need that a state is incapable of governing another people if it decides to wipe out the memory and history of that people? If the Abkhazians are supporting Russia it's only because nobody else will help them. Wouldn't we Welsh do the same if no other state supported us?

As Welsh people we should recognise the independence of Abkhazia. Were the West to recognise Abkhazia, what defence would Putin have against recognising Chechnya's independence and Georgia's right to chose its own government?

It's time to talk, and it's time to be honest.

2 comments:

Mtn said...

Thanks for your opinion. Of course, it was no accident that the Abkhazian research-institute and archives were torched (after cherry-picking) in Nov 1992 -- it was done to try to erase documentary proof of the Abkhazians' presence over the centuries (not to say millennia) on Abkhazian soil. See please related video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lcNIQ6fhcU

See also below works please

''Abkhazia's Liberation and International Law''
http://www.circassianworld.com/Abkhazia_Liberation.html

''Origins and Evolution of the Georgian-Abkhaz Conflict, by Stephen Shenfield''
http://www.circassianworld.com/Geo_Abk_conflict.html

''Abkhazia and South Ossetia: heart of conflict, key to solution, by George Hewitt'' http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/abkhazia-and-south-ossetia-heart-of-conflict-key-to-solution

Yes! It's time to talk, and it's time to be honest.

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