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In June 1979, the Carter administration sent weapons to Mujahideen groups in Afghanistan to fight the "jihad" against the Soviet Union. The decision to employ the CIA to arm and train the Mujahideen was made, so the US claimed, to contain Soviet expansionism. Several months later, in December 1979, the USSR was fighting a guerilla war against Afghan rebels.
In the early 1970s an embargo by OPEC members caused a severe oil crisis and worldwide economic chaos, and the Iranian revolution of 1978-79 sent a message to the U.S. that another oil crisis was on the way. It now appears that the U.S. had set its sights on establishing a geopolitical base in Afghanistan that would make it possible to cross the area with a pipeline from the Caspian Sea through Afghanistan, down to Karachi in Pakistan and over to Asia.
The continuing war in Afghanistan has made the building of this pipeline impossible, forcing a shift in plans. The United States now intends to build a pipeline from the Caspian Sea through Baku, Tiblisi and on to Ceyhan, a port in Turkey.
Georgia, like Afghanistan, is wedged between Russia and the Middle East, but because it borders on the Caspian Sea, it quickly came to be seen as part of an energy corridor. Georgia is a hub, which makes it possible to export oil from the Caspian Sea to world markets without going through Russia.
While the Western media portrayed the overthrow of Georgian leader Edward Shevardnadze and his government as a "velvet" or "rose" revolution, the real events were far more ominous. Shevardnadze had been a U.S. ally, the man who moved Georgia out of the Russian orbit. But a series of Georgian economic agreements with Russia quickly made Shevardnadze expendable to the U.S. First Shevardnadze signed a 25 year deal with the Russian energy giant, Gazprom. Then he sold Georgia's electrical grid to another Russian firm, cutting out the AES company backed by the US. In response, the Bush administration manipulated the Georgian elections to get rid of Shervardnadze. This was accomplished through the use of an American polling agency - Global Strategy - that prepared exit polls suggesting that' Georgia's elections had been flawed. The U.S. promptly demanded that the election results be overturned, resulting in a victory for the U.S.- educated candidate, Mikhail Saakashvili.
Working behind the scenes during the elections was a youth group named Kamara (Enough), which was modeled after OTPOR, the group that helped overthrow the elections in the formerYugoslavia. Both Kamara and OTPOR were created by the U.S. and funded by American oligarch George Soros.
On February 3, 2004, the leader of the Georgian Labor Party, Shalva Natelashvili announced that his party had filed a lawsuit at the European Court of Human Rights to reverse what they characterized as a coup during the elections. The Labor Party also demanded $100 million in compensation from the United States for the accession of Mikhail Saakashvili. The Labor Party accused the U.S. government of creating an illegal parliament, which is now developing new laws that give the United States the right to appropriate land from Georgian citizens. They also pointed out that all opposition parties in Georgia were being persecuted if they did not cooperate with the U.S.-installed government. (1)
In April of this year, the Labor Party announced its intention to establish an alternative parliament. Their first session will be held on April 25, the same day that the installed parliament will convene. (2)
Ignoring all protests, the new Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili arrived in the United States to meet with President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and representatives from the Congress and Senate, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and George Soros.
With the strong support of the Bush administration, Saakashvili pushed through parliamentary changes to the Georgian constitution giving him unprecedented power to hire and fire ministers without public consultation or the approval of deputies. The Council of Europe warned in a report released in February 2004 that Saakashvili had created a single party system that was ignoring or changing existing Georgian laws whenever it fit his party's purpose. (3) Although the new regime is on George Soros' payroll, even Soros says that allowing one party to represent Georgia's parliament poses political danger. (4)
On March 5, 2004, journalist Kate Ramishvili reported in the Daily Georgian Times that the new Georgian cabinet is actually a branch of the Soros Foundation and a club of CIA agents. George Soros will even be paying the salaries of the cabinet members. Three of the cabinet members were trained by the Soros Foundation, and the majority of the new ministers have worked within the Soros structure. The youngest member is Irakli Rekhviashvili, who served in the European headquarters of Soros Foundation. The ministers of Education and Justice, Kakha Lomara and George Papuashvili, directed the Open Society-Georgian Foundation, which is a local office of the Soros Fund. Loyalty to U.S. interests has become a litmus test for serving in the government of Georgia.
It is important to note that as Georgia faces a dramatic revision of its laws and constitution, Kazakhistan is also enduring a similar process. American lawyer Barnabis Johnson, who assisted in the creation of Kazakhastan's 1995 constitution, has recently suggested U.S. responsibility for that country's descent into authoritarian rule. Johnson says the U.S. has sanctioned the dissolution of Kazakhastan's parliament, the liquidation of its Constitutional Court, the passage of a weakened constitution, and the creation of an authoritarian regime by President Nuraultan Nazarbaev. (5)
With the rise of the new regime in Georgia, the autonomous republics of Georgia (Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Adzaria) have expressed fear that the new Georgian government will seek to exert control over them. Indeed, in March 2004, Saakashvili declared that he would establish full authority over Adzaria. Asian Abashidze, leader of the state of Adzaria, has successfully maintained peace and stability in his region, a mixture of Muslims and Christians. Although Adjara has never been declared an independent state, it maintains a pro-independence policy.
Russia, piqued by the pro-western stance of the new Georgian leadership, has maintained a close relationship with Abkhazia, South Osselia and Adzaria. When Georgian warships sailed off the port of Batumi, Adzaria's main source of revenue from transit cargo, Russia moved in, deploying tanks to this Black Sea port and firing shots toward Georgia's warships.
All three autonomous states are well aware that the U.S. has invested $64 million in the Georgian aimed forces since 2003. U.S. instructors have already trained 2.75 thousand Georgian servicemen, and further training will continue over the next five years.
Russia has closed its two remaining bases in Georgia, apparently accepting the presence of U.S. troops there. The U.S. has not yet made an issue of the presence of Russian troops in the autonomous republics. There is little doubt, however, that a showdown between Georgia and Adzaria is inevitable, and broader conflict is likely as the U.S. continues to accommodate its own economic interests by overriding the constitutional rights of the Eurasian people.
It is of interest to note that during the second week of April Lance Clark, head of the UN Mission in Georgia, confirmed former Georgian President Edward Shevardnadze's appointment as UN advisor in Georgia.
1 Interfax (Russia), January 20, 2004.
2 Russian Information Agency (Novosti), April 19, 2004.
3 Star-tass Russia, March 30, 2004.
4 Interfax (Russia) April 5, 2004.
5 N EWW/NR, Human Rights in Kazakhistan, issue 14. Network of East West News [email protected]
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