The video below is taken from a stop the war coalition meeting in London, 14 August 2008. Mark Almond gives his analysis of the ongoing conflict. (and before anyone makes the joke, no, it’s not THAT Mark Almond.) This is from stopwar.org.uk:
MARK ALMOND, lecturer in History, Oxford University and expert on the Caucasus, provided the meeting with the sort of background information on Georgia so sadly lacking on the BBC.
Visiting a Georgian prison he had expressed concern to the prison governor at the possibility that political prisoners may have been tortured. ‘Don’t worry,’ he was told, ‘We torture everyone.’
Saakashvili, far from being a democrat brought to power on the shoulders of an orange, yellow or was it rose revolution, was and is a placeman of the United States. US-educated, he was the last person to win the Enron Prize for Distinquished Public Service.
Georgian troops have been part of the US occupation force in Iraq (hurried back to Georgia in their desert fatigues).
Mark reminded us that it was the Georgians who started the recent conflict with their blitzkrieg attack on South Ossetia and in doing so broke the peace treaty which they had signed with the Russians. The majority of Ossetians wished to be part of the Russian Federation and didn’t want to be embedded in Georgia. But, hey, when it comes to running pipelines from the Caspian basin through Georgia, democracy is not going to get in the way.