Day: October 1, 2009

Saakashvili: IIFFMCG report a diplomatic victory for Georgia

From Civil Georgia:

“When in 1921 Russia attacked us and occupied us no international commission was set up then. When they imposed a civil war on us in 1992 and 1993 here no international commission was set up. When acts of sabotage were carried out in 2004, no international commission was set up. We achieved, first of all, setting up an international commission even on their conditions, as they composed the commission with the experts, which were acceptable for them, who had already blamed Georgia in advance. We closed eyes on it and agreed because we believed that they were Europeans and they would not lie.

They said even more truth than I could ever imagine. It is a great diplomatic victory for Georgia.

Some may say what is a conclusion – they say that Georgia did not observe everything and violated something. But it does not matter, because these are conclusions – this commission should have ascertained the facts, which would have been written in history.

Hundreds of thousands of our citizens were expelled from Abkhazia in 1992, and the European Union or more serious organizations have never said that it was ethnic cleansing. Now it is written [in the report] that there was ethnic cleansing.

We had no illusion that Europe – which is preparing for a cold winter and which needs Russian gas – would have said that ‘yes Russia carried out ethnic cleansing, it committed war crimes and Vladimir Putin is to be blamed for it’ – what would have happened in that case? Would they have arrested Putin when he had arrived in Brussels? I think that nobody had such illusion.”

Netanyahu: UN will become irrelevant

From the Jerusalem Post:

“If the [UN Human Rights] council decides to endorse the Goldstone report it will deal a fatal blow to three major issues: Firstly, it will harm the war on terror, because it will legitimize terrorists who hide behind civilians and fire from their midst.” Netanyahu stressed that in such cases, the one who ultimately takes the blame is “generally the victim, acting in legitimate self defense.”

“The second devastating blow will be to the UN’s status and its prestige. It will take it back to its darkest days when absurd decisions were passed within its assembly and empty it of all meaning,” Netanyahu added, referring to the 1970s, when the UN adopted a resolution comparing Zionism with racism. He warned that the UN will become irrelevant if it adopts the conclusions of the report.

The Prime Minister stated that the third and most pressing issue was the Goldstone Report’s potentially “devastating effect on the peace process,” and warned the world that “Israel will not be willing to take risks for peace if stripped of its right to self-defense.”

Dissidents sign letter supporting Alexander Podrabinek

A group of well-known Russian dissidents, including Vladimir Bukovsky, Natalya Gorbanevskaya and Irina Belogorodskaya, has signed  a letter of support for Alexander Podrabinek, who is currently facing a campaign of intimidation and persecution by adherents of a government-backed nationalist youth movement because of an article he wrote for Yezhednevnyi Zhurnal (ej.ru), in which he attacked official Russian military veterans’ groups for defending the “bloody, false and shameful” Soviet past, and insisted that “veterans of the struggle against Soviet power” were also heroes (Telegraph). Podrabinek’s life is thought to be in danger.

See also: Moscow has crossed the Rubicon from an Authoritarian  to ‘an Openly Bandit Regime’, Russian Commentator Says (Window on Eurasia).

U.S. on IIFFMCG report

Civil Georgia reports that the U.S. State Department has said it intends to review the IIFFMGC’s 1000-page report on the August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia:

“I think we recognize that all sides made mistakes and miscalculations through the conflict last year,” Philip J. Crowley, the U.S. assistant secretary of state, said on September 30. “But our focus is on the future and we hope that Georgia and Russia – we expect them both to abide by the agreements that they made under the ceasefire agreements in August and September of last year, and we expect them to live up to those commitments.”

“And In the meantime, we continue to express our strong support for Georgia’s territorial integrity,” he added.