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Shevardnadze sees Saakashvili through

07.09.2011  |  15:09

Shevardnadze sees Saakashvili through. 21710.jpegEdward Shevardnadze, a patriarch of international relations, has mobilized all his professional wisdom to point out absurdity of keeping Georgian military contingent in Afghanistan to Georgian authorities. The death of one person is already an irreparable loss for Georgia that is suffering a demographic deficit, he remarks. The former president who was actively involved in the pull-out of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, knows what he speaks of. Anatoly Tsiganok, an expert with the Institute of Political


and Military analysis, discussed his role in those events of the past with GeorgiaTimes.

Everyone in Tbilisi realizes that deployment of Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan is meaningless and wrong. From the very beginning Saakashvili's aspiration to please his masters in Washington at the cost of Georgian blood looked like a military crime. Now, that Yankees pull their soldiers out from under Taliban's bullets, Mishiko's dead stubbornness to continue this shameful campaign is a wonderful demonstration of the despot's arbitrariness. No future benefits that hypothetical NATO membership promises can justify these deaths. The situation is outrageous that even Saakashvili's predecessor - former president of Georgia Edward Shevarnadze - has stepped in.

"Georgia's sacrifices in Afghanistan are absolutely meaningless: the country won't benefit from that, neither will it be given any guarantees - particularly with regard to NATO accession", - he told Asaval Dasavali journalist. - The US president is clever enough to start pulling his troops out. We, on the contrary, are increasing the contingent and we don't care what for. There is nothing more stupid than keeping our troops in Afghanistan". The crime committed by the master of Avlabari against his nation is aggravated by the fact that real (and needless) losses among Georgian soldiers are unknown. "It also matters what they are dying for. Unfortunately, these are meaningless sacrifices, and the death toll is going up. Besides, we need to have information on the real number of young soldiers that died", - the ex-president remarked.

Having a huge political experience, Edward Shevardnadze knows well that deaths of compatriots are a sacrifice to the leadership mania of one man. Yet, it took the patriarch years to understand the value of human life.

As minister of foreign affairs of the USSR, Edward Shevardnadze played an important role in preparations of Geneva Accords of April 1988 heralding the start of the Soviet pull-out from Afghanistan. Yet, he wasn't totally consistent on the issue. GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed that with Anatoly Tsiganok, an expert with the Institute of Political and Military Analysis.

When the troops were pulled out of Afghanistan, Shevardnadze had a meeting with president Najibullah who insisted that volunteers remain in the country. Allegedly to provide security in the international airport of Kabul and Kabul-Hayraton strategic highway. Otherwise, Najibullah threatened, the capital of Afghanistan will starve when mujahidins cut communications. And the head of the Soviet foreign office swallowed that. He demanded that part of the contingent remain in Kabul in violation of the accords. However, both Americans and Pakistanis did not observe them either. But the army leadership was categorically against Shevardnadze's plan. The generals clearly understood that soldiers would fall victims to Najibullah's political ambitions", - the military historian said.

Fortunately, the army leaders won the dispute. Afterwards Shevardnadze himself acknowledged that on those days of tension he was not totally consistent. Even later his actions were fraught with numerous human deaths, including confrontation with Russia.

But Afghanistan's lesson was learned well, and the elderly politician always had enough discretion not to bring the matter to a bloody ending. This can't be said about his successor. The US protégé, talentless as he is, managed to drag his country in two wars both ending in a shameful failure. How many more Georgians should die before he will adopt Edward Shevardnadze's political wisdom?

Apollo Maridze

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