Selective Outrage

While the United Nations Human Rights Council continues to trump up charges against Israel for defending itself against Islamic extremist terrorists seeking its destruction, the Council continues to ignore real illegal occupation of territory within the democratic nation of Georgia by the Russian Federation.  The Obama administration is also guilty of sternly condemning Israel for planning to build additional housing in the Jewish section of East Jerusalem, while remaining largely silent in the face of continuing illegal evictions of Georgians from their homes in the Russian occupied territories.

By way of background, after a series of Russian and separatist provocations in the summer 2008, Georgian action to restore order in South Ossetia in early August of that year led to a Russian military crack-down that occupied the breakaway areas of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and other portions of Georgia as well. More than 200 Georgian civilians were killed during five days of the Russian invasion.

Russian troops and secret police remain in the breakaway areas which, in late August 2008, Russia unilaterally declared to be independent states. This action, in violation of international law, was strongly condemned by most of the world’s nations and international organizations.

H.E. Mr. Grigol Vashadze, Foreign Minister of Georgia, briefed United Nations correspondents on April 19, 2010 concerning the “deplorable” living conditions that still exist in these territories.  Ten thousand Russian soldiers and additional Russian secret police (successors to the dreaded KGB) continue to occupy approximately 20% of what was once an integrated Georgian republic before the Russian invasion. Five additional military bases are being opened.

The Georgian Foreign Minister accused the Russian occupiers of engaging in “ethnic cleansing.”  At least 400,000 Georgians are currently categorized as refugees or internally displaced persons.  Georgian civilians have been raped, abducted and evicted from their homes.  The evictions continue to this day.

Priests and nuns have been expelled from the occupied territories, making it practically impossible for Catholic Georgians still remaining there to practice their religion. There is a ban on the teaching of the Georgian language in the schools.  Georgian agricultural exports are under Russian embargo.

The International Court of Justice, in a case between two states where it had actual jurisdiction to issue a binding ruling, has ordered Russia to “refrain from any act of racial discrimination” against ethnic Georgians, including “sponsoring, defending or supporting” discriminatory acts in areas occupied by Russian military forces.  Russia has disobeyed the order.  Yet all we hear about from so-called human rights activists is Israel’s disregard of a non-binding advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice regarding the separation fence that has saved Israeli civilians from Palestinian suicide bombers.

Russia used its veto in the UN Security Council to block the continuation of the United Nations ground presence in Georgia.  However, over Russian objections, the UN General Assembly did support a Georgian-proposed draft resolution concerning people who had fled the occupied territories.  The resolution, passed last September, condemned the “forced displacement” of the population from Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia territories, strongly upheld the displaced populations’ right to return there, and defined these territories as parts of Georgia. It stressed the need to work out a schedule of voluntary, secure and unhindered return of all displaced persons and refugees.  Russia has disregarded the resolution and refuses to allow any refugees or displaced persons to return to their homes.

The General Assembly resolution called on Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to submit to the General Assembly a comprehensive report on the resolution’s implementation.  The report is due next month.

Meanwhile, the Georgian people continue to suffer at the hands of the Russian occupying forces.  The UN Human Rights Council does nothing about the daily violations of Georgian civilians’ human rights.  The Security Council is paralyzed.  Russia refuses to deal directly with the Georgian government, using its puppet regimes installed in Abkhazia and South Ossetia to communicate in the Geneva talks that were supposed to help resolve the outstanding issues.

Foreign Minister Vashadze praised President Obama for taking the time to meet personally with Georgia’s president and for continuing the positive strategic relationship between the two countries.  Fair enough. But we are still waiting for President Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to issue a stern public rebuke of Russia’s occupation of Georgian territories and of the eviction of Georgians from their homes at the same decibel level they directed towards Israel.

  • Alex

    Parallels between the situation in Georgia and 60 years of “palestinian = arab” terror are astonishing and equally depressing for not being called for what they factually are. An old KGB folder containing such gems as “palestinians”, PLO, “national liberation movement” and so on was dusted off and its content implemented in a new geographical location. New nations and liberation movements (read bloodthirsty thugs) were created from a thin air. Lead by Russians in committing inhuman atrocities against civilians and through sheer terror, rape and murder they “cleansed” Georgians from their ancestral lands.

    Being a former Soviet refusenik, you would not catch me dead on a pro-Russian demonstration. There were hundreds of former Georgian Jews spontaneously demonstrating in Israel in support of beleaguered Georgians.

    It’s a disgrace that the Israeli government, which is facing the same enemy for decades, did not raise its voice as well. Guess, Olmert was too busy kissing Putin’s rear on his visit to Moscow.

    I would like to “congratulate” Georgians in joining The Club. Watch for the traitors among your own.

  • badaboo

    BAD ANALOGY , and a non-argument . It's funny how the author refers to the Georgian action which initiated the recent conflict as " Georgian action to restore order " .There has been an ongoing problem between the etnic Russians and Georgians since the breakup of the Soviet Union . The Georgians made a calculated gamble in their latest action . They lost . In view of the present world situation , that gamble was foolish . Either was , there is no comparison to the situation in Israel .

    • alex

      Badaboo. You have no idea what you are talking about. Considering loses and suffering of Georgians, your high hand comment is an insult.

      Please, read about the conflict, its roots and the role of Russia in it. I know, today we do not have time to study the subject and rely on "free press". More often then not, these sources are populated by either lazy illiterate morons (see "tea-baggers" for example) or corrupt ideologues. Georgia is a perfect example.

      If you do not have time to learn on your own, drop the subject and do not embarrass yourself and add insult to injury to the victim.

  • http://osetins.com/georgian_aggression/ Lucky

    Israeli(!) general helped plan the night attack on Tskhinval 08.08.08.
    The murder of civilians have planned on First day of Olimpic Games!
    Jewish ruse.
    Traditional Israeli style of War Crimes.
    ——————-
    Private contractors, by retired top Israeli generals such as Yisrael Ziv and Gal Hirsch, the man who commanded Israeli ground forces during their disastrous foray into Lebanon in 2006. ("Gal Hirsch, who was defeated in Lebanon, went to Georgia, and they too lost because of him.")

    • badaboo

      Oh , so the whole position of Israel is nullified because of what ? A jewish ex-general was a private contractor ? Hope your not attempting to transfer any atriocities the mercenenaries may have facilitated , to Israel . If so that's simply an "argument of ignorance " . So if your obvious bias against Israel , leads you to mae an argument for the palestinians and against Israel , atleast mount an intelligent argument , for the above falls flat on it's facer .
      Oh …and BTW , Israel did NOT loose that war in Lebanon , about the only people who believe that fallacy are Hezbolla ….lol…and YOU .
      The Lebanese oughgt to thank God that the Nation their freeloaders attacked is civilised enough to accept a stalemate in destroying the attackers , OUT OF CONCERN FOR FURTHER COLLATERAL CASUALTIES , as the cowards of Hezbollah fought from behind the skirts of women and in the3 midst of children and other civilians and civilian buildings.Hezbollah got it's arse kicked back up to the Lita ni River . The trouble Israel has , is that it is a civilized nations as opposed to the mindless barbarians who are her enemies .

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rifleman Rifleman

      If the IDF was losing, why was everybody whining for them to stop? If hezzbuttliks kicks such *ss, why do they use women and children as human shields?

      It reminds me of that footage of that punk getting his butt kicked on the bus by that 65 year old Vietnam Vet. The punk was running his mouth until he made the mistake of hitting the old guy, then he was an instant poor little victim being beaten to the ground by that mean old racist. When the old guy stepped off the bus and it was pulling safely away, the whiny punk was suddenly billy bad*ss again.

      Those hezzbuttliks punks are the same breed.

  • FUN

    a former Soviet refusenik,,, Hmmm, such a surprise!
    One should be too lazy to google Ossetia or too brainwashed to make comments like this.
    "inhuman atrocities against civilians and through sheer terror, rape and murder" – this peace is brilliant!

    • alex

      Not only do I know where Ossetia is, but I use to work in this Autonomous Republic in 1970's.

      Your government prohibited a documentary made by your own correspondents – Lessons of Russian / Uroki Russkogo". Such a knowledgeable person would not have any trouble to see it on Youtube. I doubt you can read well or have any interest in not so distant history, so take a look at the pictures.

      For you and the rest of "Russians" – learn patriotism from Griboedov and real zvet of of Russian culture. Defending indefensible will only keep your country and your people as a "millennial serf" for another century or two.

      Current state of affairs is the best and unfortunate example.

  • сам

    ИДИОТИЗМ

  • Voevoda

    Yes, after criticizing Russia for attacking Georgia, he also should make a strong reproval of Poland for attacking the German radio Gleiwitz in 1939.

  • Chiragu

    Brilliant article about Evil Russians and White&Fluffy Georgians. Is it not boringly for you to slander and read opuses like above? By the way, lie like this will not vanish utterly, it's dirt accumulating in people minds and there is none method to clean it. New wars, new deaths, you think you will avoid?

  • The4X

    What a mess…
    Next time the author writes, he needs to check with information more precisely.
    Georgians are NOT catolics. I just don't want to continue arguing with this delirium.
    Sorry for bad english.
    Try read this for correct info: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/

  • silence

    Bullshit. "Georgian action to restore order in South Ossetia" is actually night bombing of civilians in Tskhinvali. Then, "approximately 20% of what was once an integrated Georgian republic before the Russian invasion" – those 20% were not a part of an integrated Georgian republic since the beginning of 1990's (when central Georgian government attacked South Ossetia & Abkhazia for the first time).

  • Gerald

    What happened to Abkhazia and Ossetia in Georgia is similar to what happened to Serbian province of Kosovo. One was done by the Russians and the other by the Americans. So what is the beef.