Don’t you just hate the days when you feel like writing, but no good topic comes to mind? I thought about writing about my disinterest in the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (love the full name), but that seemed boring even to me. All over the web you can read articles about the South Ossetia War, both sides, pro-Russia, pro-Georgia, wanting to expose the other sides evilness. And to be honest, I don’t really know on whose side I am. Whenever something happens that involves Russia, I’m in the same pickle.
I love Russia and its history, and have always done so. I wanted to be Boris Yeltsin when I was little, looking up to him and being so depressed when it was announced he would leave office. I, a liberal, someone who has some socialistic principles, a pacifist — I wanted to be Boris Yeltsin. In high school, my best friend and I were political opposites. We (very geeky) would pretend that he was Germany, and I was Russia, and we would rewrite history.
My favorite history topic (history being my favorite course, obviously) was anything that had to do with the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and/or the Russian Federation. There was a time I myself had great respect for (Soviet) communism and its principles, and a part of me still secretly does. Though I admit it’s an impossible political structure — because humanity is greedy and capitalistic — I still think the basic principle of “everything belongs to everybody” is beautiful. It didn’t work because of that greed humanity has, and because of the hunger for need that exists in people of higher office.
In all situations regarding Russia I’m already biased, in favor of the Big Bear. Yes, Russia is in violation when they forcefully enter another sovereign nation, and yes, they probably have an agenda to destabilize Georgia and their “Western ties.” It’s all wrong and as a pacifist I’m against all types of war. But then when Putin (because he’s still the one in charge, obviously) talks about defending the Russian civilians in the unrecognized South Ossetian country, and the need to regulate actions that are happening along the border — all of asudden I agree with him, at least partly.
South Ossetia1 has a sovereign right, just as Georgia has. That nobody recognizes it matters in international politics, because though they have the right, they don’t have what the right entitles them to. Russia claims to be protecting South Ossetia’s independence, it’s right to be separate from Georgia. It only does this because while Georgia is (at the moment) pro-Western (hate that term), the South Ossetians are pro-Russian. The Republic of South Ossetia isn’t recognized by anyone, I said before, and so also not by Russia. Putin is defending the sovereignty of a country he doesn’t grant sovereignty. If the Big Bear would recognize South Ossetia, it automatically also grants its own break-away republics’ sovereignty (like Ichkeria/Chechnya).
And that’s out of the question, of course. So, yes, I see it’s a hypocritical stance of Russia to be supportive of South Ossetia, but not of its own “South Ossetia’s,” and so I should be strongly against Russia on this one. I should be pro-Georgian, without a doubt. But Georgia is denying the rights of South Ossetia, aren’t they? They’re just as much hypocrites — so I should be on neither side? No, because Russia “entered” another country, while Georgia was busy killing people on their own land. But if you think South Ossetia is another country, then… Dear lord, I’m in a pickle.
Perhaps it doesn’t matter which side I choose to be on. It’s pretty safe to predict that neither side will care whether I am supporting them or not. Me supporting Russia, or not, me being neutral, or not — it will have no effect on the outcome of this Caucasan war. Just as my disinterest in the Games of the XXIX Olympiad will have no effect on the golden metal count of the Netherlands. But it all did have one useful effect, outside of those two — it created something for me to write about.
- I left out Abkhazia, because that would have made the dilemma even greater. [↩]