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Georgia afraid to lose image, not Saakashvili2010-08-26 13:41
Georgian society starts discussing possibility of holding Mikheil Saakashvili and his teammates accountable for unleashing the war in South Ossetia at the Hague tribunal. Most often, all this does not refer to innocence or guilt of the Georgian leader: those who are not sure about the real initiator of the attack on Tskhinval are already quite few in Georgia. The problem is how to mitigate consequences of this trial for the country's image.
Russian and Georgian experts have long been discussing that the aggression against South Ossetia by Georgian leaders and personally Mikheil Saakashvili will be considered at the Hague tribunal. Certainly, such statements were made exclusively by Georgia's opposition. Nestan Kirtadze, a Labor Party leader, for instance, repeatedly stated that Saakashvili's military crime would not be left unnoticed by the world community. Heidi Tagliavini's report by the independent fact-finding commission investigating into the circumstances of the conflict in August 2008 has been of great help to the Hague tribunal too. The documents above have clearly demonstrated that the Georgian president is at fault for starting the war in South Ossetia.
However, there are still Mikheil Saakashvili's advocates in Georgian society who approve of the nighttime shelling of Tskhinval and the attack on the town's civilians with large-caliber machine guns. Recently Georgy Tavdrgiridze, a Georgian military expert, stated that the Georgian troops had not committed military crimes during the armed conflict in South Ossetia adding that all their actions were logical and justified. "This is a sacred duty of any sovereign, and the duty of the political spectrum and society is to support the actions of the leader. If some specific crime was committed in the middle of these actions, this should become a subject of specific investigation which has nothing to do with the campaign carried out by the state".
Yes, this is exactly the way Mikheil Saakashvili is called in Georgia - a sovereign. Apparently, in a short while Tbilisi will be renamed into Mordor and military ranks in the Georgian army will soon change into "junior orc" or "Uruk-Hai-colonel". Speaking seriously, Mr. Tavdgiridze makes use of a well-known technique: when Stalin's cult was being dethroned, inferiors of the camp system stated they had been simply executors of bloody orders of their superiors, while their superiors used phrases like "I didn't put people to jail and shot them dead".
As Yuri Beteyev, an expert from South Ossetia, OSinform news agency deputy director, remarks, Tbilisi won't assume liability for the aggression against citizens of the republic until the world community forces the Georgian president and his supporters to do that. "Until the criminal is punished he will never admit his guilt. Even if the punishment is fair, this is still a rarity. Saakashvili and his teammates were demolishing peaceful Tskhinval trying to present themselves as victims to the Russian attack. This double-handed policy must be condemned by the world community as must an accusatory verdict be pronounced on Saakashvili's regime at the Hague tribunal", - Yuri Beteyev who was in Tskhinval at the time of the attack said.