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Is Georgia an Empire?

It is a bit ridiculous to ask a question like this about a country of just 4m or so people. Probably the Abkhaz and Ossetians would find some historical evidence that Georgia conquered their land and so on and so forth. But ironically some Georgians themselves started raising this question last week.

Last week I urged President Saakashvili to learn the opinion of other people when making decisions. In the same manner I have decided to let other people talk rather than relying on my personal judgments this week. The website www.forums.ge is an excellent source for learning what Georgians think. Here you can see uncensored, unfiltered, free-wheeling debates on a number of critical issues. So, what do Georgians think about us sending so many observers to monitor the Presidential elections in Ukraine?

Nikusha Marxi has opened a new topic called “Georgia is an empire” and posted a poll asking: “Do we have the right to meddle in the domestic affairs of Ukraine?” 212 people have voted [Ok, ok, I know this may not be enough to classify as a representative sample but it is still noteworthy]. 15 percent said yes, 70 percent said no and 15 percent that meddling in Ukraine's affairs was "our duty".

Gems from the subsequent debate of the question which forms the title of this column are here translated. Enjoy:
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Gogilord: "Not only in those of Ukraine. Beware old bitch Europe! The Nazis [referring to National Movement members] are coming!"

Chagesto: “Certainly, we should interfere in Ukraine’s [domestic] affairs. Let’s bring those people to their senses. Somebody should take responsibility out there, right?...”

Rezo77_77: “I wish we had the guts to interfere in the affairs of all countries. Who cares about rights and democracy? Cm’on!”

Georgia 7777: “Yes, it would be great if we had it [the guts]. Since we do not, why should we then upset just our friend Ukraine?

Larsi: “But who is meddling in their affairs? Are you referring to the observation mission?”

Barcelona: “Is it all right when senior officials of the Defence and Security [Parliamentary Committees), [the President’s] envoys and Governors go there to ‘observe’ [sic] ? They would be inevitably blamed for provoking destabilisation! How come these people would want to do something so stupid!

Larsi: “I would have been very much surprised if apolitical people had been sent there as observers. Georgia has vested interests in the results of the elections and certainly adequate people should have been sent there, and they did it.”

Partisan 001: “Do you think the Ukrainians do not know that our ‘observers’ went there to rig the vote? Were they beaten and denied entry to the precincts for nothing? The concerts that they [the Georgian Government] staged are more damaging for our relations than Yanukovich’s victory.”

Lika-Khatia: “Wait, if the Russians have the right to meddle in our affairs, why should we not have the same right? We should do it if we can. Why not?”

Xronopi: “We do not have the right or ability to meddle in other people’s affairs. We have the wishes and complex of a subdued nation which cannot cope with its own affairs and lets others decide its fate. I always feel ashamed when Giviiii [referring to Givi Targamadze] tries to become an actor in Ukraine’s political processes. We have turned into a laughing stock for the whole of Ukraine. Provincials! Dim-witted! ”

Shurige: “Georgia is also important for Russia. So what if Russia sends 10,000 people as observers to Georgia, including Zhirinovksy, Markov, Rogozin, Migranian and some FSB people? How is that? Would you call them observers and say “welcome to Georgia?” OK, let Russia alone. What would you do if Yanukovich wins and then sends the same number of observers to Georgia? What would you say or do?”

Marxist: “Soviet joke: the US meddles in the USSR’s internal affairs all over the globe.”

Ziriro: “By the way, I have really thought oftentimes: It is a good thing that we are only 4 million and not 40 million.”


by Keti Khachidze

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