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Georgia’s hypocrisy ends in war2011-08-12 12:39
The war of August 8, 2008 has its roots. Taking a look at the chronicle of the events that were taking place in Georgia since late 1980s, no doubts remain that the Russian-Georgian war was predestined. Let's analyze milestones of contemporary history of Georgia and its former autonomies. Looking at the history cut at large, the events of August 2008 don't look unexpected.
August 2008 changed the relations between Georgia and Russia forever. After the "cold war" of the 1990s, bare-faced conflicts and confrontations of the 2000s it was a short but a real war. Nothing helped: neither one religion, nor 200 years of neighborhood, nor close human ties. Let's see the way Georgian-Russian relations have made over the recent decades to understand how two kin nations could be at war.
At first let's dispel a few myths about the love Georgians feel for Russia and Russians. The culture of any Caucasian nation implies hypocrisy at table. The core of the phenomenon is that people sitting at a tableful, or people absent, relatives or aliens, friends or foes, or even entire nations are referred to in wonderful words. Yet, those who know the trick set no store by such toasts. Most often, they mean nothing. This is etiquette adopted by people that have lived in close neighborhood for centuries.
Georgia's intelligentsia, a trend for a number of decades in the USSR, succeeded in replacing real attitude of Georgians toward Russians for loud but senseless words and images. And Russians were happy to accept them. It's easy to be caught on flattering - and Georgians are real experts here. That is basically the origin of "centuries-old friendship and brotherhood".
It's wrong to say that Georgians detested Russians. Yet, they treated them with a portion of disdain. Any sociologist would say it's absolutely normal. Russian and Georgian cultures have entirely different value systems. What is OK for an average Russian is sheer fall from grace for a Georgian.
This all is supplemented by a much higher living standard in Soviet Georgia if compared to Russia and the "showing off" connected with it, as well as a powerful influence of exalted nationalistic intelligentsia ruling the minds of Soviet Georgia.
In late 1980s Georgia had no "occupation museum" yet and Georgians that literally prospered in the Soviet epoch did not view themselves as victims of occupation, of course. Yet, by that time the idea that Georgia would easily become a new Germany or Switzerland if not for the Union, i.e. Russia standing in its way, was definitely formed.
Also, the idea of "deda mitsa