"Popular Premier" Ivanishvili, the "Popular story teller" Saakashvili, the "National defender" Subari and others are investigating the causes of the war 2008

Tue, 16/04/2013 - 13:40

Topic number one in the Georgian media for the past few days is a statement of the Prime Minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili that in 2008, Georgia had launched a military action before the Russian troops crossed the border. Here we should pay attention to the context in which the statement is made.

After the defeat of the President Saakashvili's party "National Movement" in last year's parliamentary elections, in Georgia has become fashionable the word "koabitatsiya" which means peaceful coexistence and collaboration of the president and the parliament (which is appointed by the Government) in the political arena, represented by political forces with diametrically opposite programs. Now, I think this word is forgotten for a long time, because in Georgia koabitatsiya has failed.
The tension and contradictions arise between the two branches of the government at every turn, and it's clear: the victory of the Premiere Ivanishvili`s coalition the "Georgian Dream" cannot refuse to implement its campaign`s promises, based on the real interests of the Georgian voters. Their implementation is contrary to the steps that have been taken by Saakashvili's patchy team for over 9 years in power, which were based on the experience of blind imitation the West and its transferring to the Georgian reality, leaving out of account the conditions and relationships that had been formed in Georgia for decades and even longer. This applies to simple social issues, and terms of running small and medium business, and even religion.
Therefore, an important issue in determining the political agenda in Georgia today is connected with the events of 2008. Although it is not explicitly articulated, most people have already known much of the truth about the causes of the war, -who started it, whether it was an inevitable necessity or only the whim of one man.
Ivanishvili has already declared that Georgian forces had attacked Tskhinval BEFORE the Russian army crossed the border. He even said that on this issue the court should interrogate President Saakashvili.
According to the Prime Minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili will be interrogated as many times as necessary. This is said in a statement of the prime minister in connection with the August war. "I think, the time, when Saakashvili himself decided who was to meet the people on their concerns and who was not, has passed. Once and for all in Georgia must come to an end the era when the ruler of the country placed himself above the law. Today the main thing is supremacy of law, and everyone, including the president, will be interrogated as many times as necessary. There is no doubt that Saakashvili succumbed to provocation of Russia, however, Russia was not the winner of this provocation, and I hope, in Russia itself, are well aware of this fact. I believe that by regular, diplomatic and deliberate steps, our country will surely return the occupied territories, "- said Ivanishvili. This writes the Georgian news agency "Pirveli" (First) in the article "Bidzina Ivanishvili: Saakashvili will be interrogated as many times as necessary, " on April 12, 2013.
However, on the same day, Georgian Prime Minister has softened his statement.
"The Prime Minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili has said that he never claimed that in the August war Georgia was the aggressor and started the war. This is said in a statement of the Prime Minister. "I want to make a statement and to clarify my answer to journalists about the possible questioning of the president regarding the war in 2008, which caused absolutely unfounded hype. I only touched the topics of war in this context, and emphasized the attitude of the President to be questioned. Regarding the war in August, 2008, I`d like to say - I've never said that Georgia was the aggressor, and that it started the war. Our army did not cross the state border and intruded into the territory of another state. It is Russia which has violated our sovereign borders and carried out aggression against our country, which was followed by the occupation of our territories. However, despite this, it is our duty not to leave any question that disturbs our public, unanswered. We have to investigate and establish the truth. I am sure that in any case it will not damage the image of our country and will not affect its territorial integrity, so, no matter what steps are taking the authorities in our country, this does not justify the Russian aggression. To establish the truth is necessary for our country. Impartial investigation will bring an end to speculation about the war; declaration of the principle of justice would enhance the prestige of Georgia, its credibility. We should provide answers for many questions that we have to ask the former authorities with respect to the war: why Saakashvili could not avoid the obvious provocations, what were the actions of Commander in Chief and the government, why the high-ranking officials interfered with the military operation, which led to chaos and mess ; why there were so many victims among the civilian population, so why the government could not ensure a peaceful evacuation of the population, why our reservists who have accidentally escaped death were left without commanders, and many other issues. Selflessness of our armed forces is of no doubt, their heroism - hundreds of young people were killed in this unequal fight, "- said Ivanishvili," - says the same publication on April 12, 2013 in the article "Bidzina Ivanishvili: I have never claimed that Georgia was the aggressor and started the war."
Such wordy quotation is in need to cool some hot heads, who claim as if in Georgia, is in progress the process of rethinking the results of the full-scale military aggression of Georgia against the Republic of South Ossetia and the Russian Federation on the night of August 8, 2008.
However, even such a mild statement of Premiere Ivanishvili has caused inadequate (as always) strong reaction of President Saakashvili.
In Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, is not more considered as a president (though he still formally holds this post), but he is called by different nicknames, the mildest of which is a "popular storyteller."
The Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili in response to a request for commenting on the next statement by Saakashvili, has said that he was tired of commenting on Mikheil Saakashvili`s statements, and that this is especially difficult after President of Georgia got into a car accident (hinting that Saakashvili during a disaster hit his head).
"Why do you force me to comment on the statements by Saakashvili who has already become a popular storyteller, spouting aphorisms? It is very difficult to decipher these aphorisms, "- said Margvelashvili. This writes "MediaNews" in the article "Why do you force me to comment on the statements by Saakashvili who has already become a popular storyteller? - George Margvelashvili ,"on April 12, 2013.
Since Saakashvili is still the president of Georgia, and has some more powers, let`s listen to his opinion.
The reaction of Saakashvili is expressed by the news agency "Georgia Online" in the article "Hands off the main issues" - Mikhail Saakashvili," -on April 12, 2013:
"" What the nonsense! Russian media have made a real treat, saying, Georgia has finally recognized it. Now you may provide clarification, or write a 50-page apology and deny what was said. The word has been said, and this word has already traveled around the world. In Poland, too, do not understand the situation, shrugging shoulders and making a row on the subject, "- said Mikheil Saakashvili. The President has also noted that the only function of the investigation is charging of the former Georgian government as being the initiator of the war. "Damn it me, and, in general, all the Georgian leadership. It's a direct attack on the sovereignty of Georgia", - Saakashvili."
This article has also been focused on the contradictions in the statements of Ivanishvili:
"As reported by "Georgia Online," today the administration of the premiere has issued a statement of Bidzina Ivanishvili, in which he says that he never said Georgia was the aggressor and launched the war. Meanwhile, two days ago, at a press conference, Ivanishvili said: "I think, it is unreasonable that the troops were brought to combat readiness and launched a war before Russia had crossed our borders. '"
What is the solution? Apparently, Ivanishvili has two truths: one for external use, and the other - for the inner.
However, in Georgia, the forces, supporting the yet President Saakashvili and his "National Movement", have already started to discredit the hypothetic investigation of the causes of the war in 2008.
"" Georgian Dream " intends to discredit not only the President of Georgia, but his party -"United National Movement ", and demonstrate that 20 percent of the Georgian territories are occupied because of the lost war, said the head of the Center for International Security and elections Nikoloz Chitadze "- wrote "Georgia Online" in the article " Whether the prosecutor who has an apartment in Moscow, will he objective to Georgia? " on April 12, 2013.
The article goes on to say:
"Nikoloz Chitadze is concerned that the enquiry will not be independent. "The investigation should be conducted by prosecutor, but what independent enquiry may be conducted, if the chief prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili during the period of his stay in the opposition always said he did not know who was responsible for starting the war, because he was not a political scientist. But Kbilashvili is a lawyer, he studied the international law and should know the answer for this question. However, after the publication of declaration of assets it was found out that Kbilashvili had an apartment in Moscow; so whether the investigation will be conducted up to the mark?" . According to him, if the President of Georgia refuses to collaborate with the commission, it will lead to confrontation with the investigators. This will also have a negative impact on his relationship with the Prime Minister of Georgia. "
Co-founder of the organization GRASS, former Deputy State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic integration Elena Khoshtaria has also expressed her dissatisfaction.
As informs "Georgia Online" in the article "" The investigation should not be carried out against the government, but in fact of the war "- Khoshtaria" April 12, 2013, hopes that "the Georgian government understands it will be responsible for the political and legal consequences that will follow the statements by the Prime Minister. "
Furthermore, the article gives her statement on the matter:
"" Georgian Dream" has declared that nothing special is happening; we are obliged to investigate the war in 2008. We really have to hold an inquest which in no way implies announcing that President will be questioned. This obligation does not mean that the guilt of the president or the former government should be established. For all these years, we have been collaborating with the ICC successfully and the investigation should not be carried out against the government, but in fact of the war, that will reveal a lot of crimes of Russia. Therefore, we do not have any problems with the investigation. The problem is in its using as a weapon of political struggle. I hope the present government has realized that it will be responsible for all the political and legal consequences that will follow the statements by the Prime Minister. Compared to them, the harm caused to the president and the previous government, will be negligible." Georgian Minister of Corrections, Probation and Legal Assistance Subari has also made a statement on this subject. According to him, investigation of the events related to the August war, is the request of the Hague International Criminal Court.
"The minister has said that the investigation should be conducted at the national level, and the ruling forces will fulfill this international obligation. "The crime of Russia in this war is obvious. There is direct evidence of ethnic cleansing, which is a crime against humanity. Saakashvili did not dare complain to the Hague International Criminal Court. It was a request of the Hague International Criminal Court in Georgia to hold this investigation at the national level. We must fulfill this international obligation. Saakashvili is almost unveiled and, apparently, not in vain, "- said Subari. It should be reminded that the chief prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili declared yesterday that the Prosecutor's Office would establish a special commission of inquiry to examine the events related to the August war, although it is not known yet when it will be established, and how many people will be included in it. "
This writes the Georgian news agency "MediaNews" in the article "The investigation of the events related to the August war, is at the request of the Hague court – Subari," on April 12, 2013.
Subari was the Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia, when May 27, 2006, several hundred armed people –members of special services of Georgia, intruded into the zone of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict and carried out a large-scale punitive operation against the civilian Ossetian population .
That day were blocked the roads across the territory controlled by the Georgian side, leading to the Ossetian villages. Ossetians and representatives of other non-Georgian nationalities, including women and children, driving on these roads, were seized hostages. 48 hostages (46 of them – citizens of South Ossetia and 2 – citizens of North Ossetia) were transported to the town of Gori, where they were beaten and suffered indignity, which was recorded on video and broadcast on the Georgian TV channel.
It is surprising that the current minister, a former human rights commissioner Subari does not feel satisfaction at the fact that the Georgian police can no longer make such gross violations of human rights, but is still mumbling nonsense about some "Russian occupation", like Saakashvili, who has been nicknamed in Georgia as the "popular story teller".

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