[Marxism] Background Info. On Georgia's 'Velvet Revolution'

David Quarter davidquarter at sympatico.ca
Mon Nov 24 01:48:36 MST 2003

From: r_rozoff at yahoo.com

Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, whose speech
to the national parliament was abruptly cut off and
who had to be spirited out of the building by security
personnel on Saturday when scores of young men
identified in the Western press as opposition
activists stormed the premises, officially resigned on
Sunday, November 23, citing his desire to avoid a
bloody showdown in the nation. 
It's been announced that Parliamentary Speaker Nino
Burjanadze will be appointed interim president
although her political party, the eponymous Burjanadze
Democrats, came in fifth place in the recent federal
elections with only 7.6% of the popular vote.
Ms. Burjanadze, it should be noted, visited Washington
this past June, where she met with, inter alia,
Secretary of State Colin Powell and the National
Security Council's Stephen Hadley.
Now acting president Burjanadze's visit to Washington
was repaid in kind the following month, July of this
year, when former Bush, Sr. Secretary of State James
Baker went to the Georgian capital to, among other
stated objectives, aid in 'reforming' the nation's
electoral system.
The ringleader of the assault on the Georgian
parliament building and self-identified spokesman for 
what calls itself the united opposition is Mikhail
Saakashvili, head of the National Movement party, a
graduate of Columbia University in the US, and someone
characterized as a 'freewheeling New York lawyer.' 
Television news coverage (CNN, Fox News, MSNBC) of the
seige of the Georgian parliament and the subsequent
resignation of Shevardnadze was larded with clearly
laudatory expressions like 'people power,' democracy
in action' and the like.
Colin Powell rushed in to offer support to the
unelected Burjanadze.
The US State Department added: "The people of Georgia
have heard the call of Mikheil Saakashvili and his
colleagues in the opposition to move to a new stage in
Georgian politics."
What exactly has transpired, why and with whose
assistance is not entirely clear; what is, though, is
that Georgia is of major geopolitical, military and
energy transport significance to the US and its NATO
allies and has been a major bone of contention between
the latter and Russia over the past few years.
Although Shevardnadze has proved of immense value to
his Western sponsors regarding the above three
interests, he may have outlived his usefulness.
Recall that as the last Foreign Minister of the former
Soviet Union he officiated over, contributed to and
was a major architect of three major developments in
as many years:
1) The withdrawal of Soviet military forces from
Afghanistan in 1989, thereby paving the way for the US
and Pakistani backed Peshawar Seven Muhajedin
coalition and its 10,000-fighter-plus 'Afghan Arab'
contingent, which would evolve into what is now known
as al-Qaeda, to march into Kabul three years later and
turn Afghanistan into a Islamabad-directed theocracy
and breeding ground for internecine fighting,
including the shelling of vast tracts of the capital
itself, of opium cultivation and smuggling, and of
cross-border extremist attacks into the five former
Central Asian Soviet republics, as well as serving as
an international training center for Islamist jehadis
from all parts of the world.
2) The reunification of Germany, with the former
German Democratic Republic incorporated into NATO.
[German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder seems to have
acknowledged his indebtedness by offering yesterday to
effectively grant Shevardnadze asylum in Germany:]
3) The dissolution of the Soviet Union itself in 1991.

Since assuming the reins of power in Tbilisi after a
bloody series of civil conficts and the breaking away
of three autonomous republics, Shevardnadze has toed
the Western line with an almost embarrassing
The national military has been completely overhauled
with US, German, French, Turkish and other NATO
nations' personnel restructuring Georgian armed forces
to meet NATO standards.
The US has deployed Green Beret and Marine Corps
officers to train three waves of new commando units;
it's interesting to speculate over whether the
announcement that 50 special forces troops had 'gone
over to the opposition' shortly before Shevardnadze
tendered his resignation may have been ones trained by
the US and/or its NATO allies.
Shevardnadze has been eagerly pushing for Georgia's
NATO membership, openly applying for such since at
least as far back as last November's Prague Summit.
He has also enthusiastically lent himself to
supporting the US/UK (ChevronTexaco/British Petroleum)
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline to transport Caspian
Sea oil from as far East as Kazakhstan into Europe,
thereby circumventing Russia and denying it both
revenues and influence.
Under Shevardnadze's watch Georgian military personnel
have been deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo -
the better to demonstrate his fealty to Washington and
But all to little avail, evidently, as Nino Burjanadze
has been chosen to replace her ever so dependable
Below are several links on the subjects of Georgia and
Russia, the US, NATO, the three autonomous republics
and the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan petroleum pipeline.

1) Georgia Vs. Russia 

'US Caucasian Strategy Contradicts Russia's Interests'


US U-2S Flies Over Georgia - 20 Kilometers From
Russian Border 

Georgia Threatens Russian Troops, Thanks US 

Georgian Provocation Re Russian Military; NATO Rep In
Pankisi; US Backs Tbilisi

Georgia Sends Jet Fighters, Anti-Aircraft Missiles To
Russian Border 

2) US Military Role In Georgia

US To Supervise Georgian Rapid Reaction Forces

Georgia: US, NATO Military Base 

US Pushes For Georgian Bases In Black Sea, Caucasus 

Preparing For War: US Military Planes Fly Over

US Official In Georgia To Increase Military Bases,
Troop Deployments 

Georgia: US-NATO Train Military; Govt Supports Rebels,
Threatens Republics 

US In Caucasus: US Pushes To *Internationalize* Crisis


U.S. Troops Land in Georgia 

Georgia: Dissension In Ranks Of US Colonial Troops 

3) Georgia As NATO Military Outpost

Caucasus: Keenly Contested Region With NATO As Focal

'Bridge Between NATO And South Caucasus': Georgia 

US, Turkey, Other NATO Members To Coordinate Georgian
Military Aid 

Georgia Rushes To Join NATO; Clash On Russian Border;
US Vs Abkhazia 

4) Georgia Vs. Adjaria, Abkhazia And South Ossetia
DM: Georgia Plans 'Large-Scale Warfare On Abkhazia' 

Abkhazia Concerned About U.S., NATO Assistance To

NATO Commander In Caucasus, Georgia Threatens 3

Georgia Plants Mines On Abkhaz Border, Sends
Delegation To NATO 

Caucasus Crisis: US, Georgia Conspire Against
Breakaway Republics 

Georgians Kill 3 Abkhaz Officials; Rumsfeld Backs

5) Georgia And The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Caspian Oil

Georgia Prepares for Caspian Oil Boom 

Strategic Pipeline In The Caucasus To Go Ahead 

'World's Most Political Pipeline' To Be Build From

Why US Military, NATO Are In Georgia: 'Fulcrum For
East-West Pipelines' http://www.topica.com/lists/ANTINATO/read/message.html?mid=905677946


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