Democratic national rights lost
The present conflict between Russia and Georgia, to use James Connolly’s prescient phrase when he warned of the partition of Ireland, stems from the “carnival of reaction” that inevitably followed the break-up of the Soviet Union.
J V Stalin was not only an expert in the national question in general but also in the complex national questions in the Transcaucasian region in particular. His meticulous concern to ensure that the legitimate national rights of all the small, hitherto oppressed peoples of this region should be respected and guaranteed explains in no small measure the respect for his name and the longing for the Soviet Union that still runs deep in the veins of the Ossetian, Abkhaz and other peoples of the region.
When the Soviet Union existed, the South Ossetian and Abkhaz peoples enjoyed self-determination as autonomous soviet socialist regions within the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, itself a component of the mighty USSR.
From the standpoint of the right to self-determination, their arbitrary transformation, without consultation or consent, from free and equal citizens of a multinational socialist state, with their own autonomous region, into second-class citizens, or aliens, within a bourgeois republic, and puppet state of imperialism, has no legal validity.
Popular opposition to Georgian state’s pro-imperialist servility
The South Ossetian and Abkhaz peoples have the right to self-determination. They have made it clear that they wish to exercise that right either by forming independent states or by becoming members of the Russian Federation.
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and especially since the imperialist-scripted and choreographed so-called ‘Rose Revolution’, Georgia has been a particularly reactionary puppet state of imperialism, its veritable bridgehead in the entire region. It has sent large numbers of troops to join the US-led occupation of Iraq; forged close military ties with the United States and Israel, which include massive weapons supplies, training and the provision of large numbers of ‘advisers’ and mercenaries; aspires to join the European Union (EU) and NATO; and has engaged in constant provocations against Russia as well as against the Abkhaz and Ossetian peoples and other minorities.
At the NATO summit in Bucharest, a green light was given for Georgia’s future membership. This represents an intolerable provocation and a mortal danger to the Russian Federation, particularly in view of other developments, such as the plans by the US to site its ‘Missile Defence’ systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, as well as the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Georgia is, therefore, acting as a surrogate and cat’s paw of imperialism – US imperialism in particular. Among the key imperialist aims in the region are to consolidate puppet regimes, to encircle Russia and China, and to gain control over the energy, mineral and other natural resources of the region, especially oil and gas. Imperialism wants to defend the pipeline it has built to transport oil from Azerbaijan through Georgia to the port of Ceyhan in Turkey and thence to western Europe.
The point of these machinations is to deprive the countries of the Transcaucasus and Central Asia, as well as Russia and China, of both the control and use of these important resources.
Imperialism’s strategic and economic interests in Georgia and the surrounding states therefore have much in common with their interests in Iraq and the neighbouring Arab and Muslim countries, and the resistance to such designs therefore has the same anti-imperialist character. The fact that the United States has been airlifting Georgian troops back from Iraq so that they might fight the Russians speaks for itself.
Georgian aggression against defenceless South Ossetia
The immediate cause of the present conflict was a vicious assault on the capital of South Ossetia by the chauvinist Georgian regime. This regime is not only deeply reactionary and servile to imperialism, it is also blinded by anti-Russian hatred, adventurist, reckless and irresponsible. Drunk on lavish promises of imperialist and Zionist support, it thought it could achieve a blitzkrieg victory over tiny South Ossetia whilst the attentions of the world were on the Beijing Olympics.
Some 2,000 South Ossetians were killed in the first few days of the Georgian assault. Given that the total population of South Ossetia is just some 100,000, no other term than genocidal can suffice to describe this aggression.
The longer-term background to the conflict is one of constant anti-Russian, anti-Ossetian and anti-Abkhaz provocations since 1991. Given that Russia has legal peacekeeping duties in the region and that the majority of the people in South Ossetia are citizens of the Russian Federation, Russia and its armed forces have both the legal right and the moral duty to save the South Ossetian people from genocide, to defend the security of the Russian Federation, and, moreover, in the apt words of Prime Minister Putin, to pursue this counter-attack in self-defence to its “logical conclusion”.
Since 1991, Georgia has been a lackey of US and EU imperialism. Therefore, the United States, NATO, the EU, the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe), the French President, not to mention the utterly ridiculous David Miliband, etc, cannot possibly be honest brokers or mediators in the conflict. They are the cause of the problem not part of the solution.
One can only contemplate aghast the rank and utter hypocrisy of the western imperialist condemnations of Russia, when it is they who invaded and occupied both Iraq and Afghanistan, killing well over a million people, who back Israel to the hilt in its genocidal wars against the Palestinians and for the destruction of Lebanon, who destroyed and broke up Yugoslavia – again at the cost of tremendous human suffering (in the process creating a Kosovan Bantustan ripped away from Serbia, of which it had been an integral part for centuries), who backed and instigated the Ethiopian aggression against Somalia, and so on – the list is endless.
In view of the above, therefore, the CPGB-ML:
· Condemns the genocidal aggression against the South Ossetian people by the Georgian regime, puppet of US and EU imperialism.
· Supports the right to self-determination of the South Ossetian and Abkhaz peoples, whether exercised in the formation of independent states or by joining the Russian Federation.
· Supports the Russian Federation and the Russian armed forces in their just actions to save the South Ossetian people from genocide and to counter-attack in self-defence to safeguard sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.
· Demands NATO stop its provocative move to encroach ever closer on Russia by extending membership to Georgia and Ukraine, and unconditionally condemns the US plans to set up aggressive Missile Defence (MD) programmes in central and eastern Europe.
· Resolutely opposes all interference by imperialism and its surrogates, such as the Israeli Zionists, in the region.
· Reaffirms its invariable solidarity with all the communists, working people and other progressive forces of all nationalities throughout the former Soviet Union in their just and noble struggle to return to the road of Lenin and Stalin, for the reconstitution of the USSR as a free and equal brotherly union of socialist nations and nationalities.