Below you will find out translation of an article by Ivan Danilov from RIA Novosti with commentary by Vince Dhimos.
Every Russian knows the history of the Georgia-Russia war but US news consumers are subjected to a version that is far from reality. I recommend this site for a decent summary. The gist of it is that the US seeks control of Georgia and much of Eurasia, but Russia has thrown a spanner in its plans. Mikheil Saakashvili was president of Georgia at the time of this war but had used questionable tactics to rise to that position. His rise to power was facilitated by the Rose Revolution that deposed the previous president Edward Shevardnadze. It is important to note that, while Western media insist that this revolution was due to the “spontaneous” Kmara youth movement, it in fact grew from a subsoil prepared far in advance by US NGOs, including USAID and a George Soros Open Society Georgia foundation (OSGF). A thorough academic investigation done after the revolution is reported here in PDF format and shows that this revolution was by no means home-grown. The idea is to control Eurasia and most of the rest of the world according to a nifty plan by Zbigniew Brzezinksi that keeps on failing.
At the outset of the Georgia-Russia war, the US-supported Saakashvili aggressively launched an offensive against two breakaway regions of Georgia that had been part of the Soviet Union and wanted no parts of Georgia. Same story as Crimea and the Donbass. Russia came to the defence of the two breakaway regions, whose citizens were being slaughtered by Georgia, and easily won a victory. The pro-US Georgian government is smarting to this day.
Eventually, the US-educated and US-backed Saakashvili turned out to be more authoritarian and anti-democratic than the Shevardnadze government that he replaced (same scenario as in Ukraine) and there was unrest in Georgia as a result. GlobalResearch writes:
“In 2007, similar demonstrations took place in Georgia. Back then, Saakashvili responded by imposing emergency rule and riot police was used to prevent this wave of discontent from escalating and some pro-opposition TV stations (Imedi and Kavkasia) were, apparently, forcibly closed. What both episodes have in common is that Georgian opposition members have denounced the Saakashvili government as corrupt and arbitrarily authoritarian.”
The US narrative of “Russian aggression” in Georgia and the constant pressure of US NGOs in the country has maintained a smouldering Russophobia, just as it has in the Baltics, Poland and elsewhere.
We must always consider all actions of US NGOs in the former Soviet bloc as part of a grand plan aimed at depriving Russia of its influence in that region. This is part of a grand plan to control Eurasia and Asia, as described here:
“What’s at stake is what former National Security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski described in his 1997 book “The Grand Chessboard.” He called Eurasia the “centre of world power extending from Germany and Poland in the East through Russia and China to the Pacific and including the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.” [My highlighting] He continued: “The most immediate (US) task is to make certain that no state or combination of states gains the capacity to expel the United States from Eurasia or even to diminish significantly its decisive arbitration role.” Dominating that part of the world and its vast energy and other resources is Washington’s goal with NATO and Israel its principal tools to do it:
“— in the Middle East with its two-thirds of the world’s proved oil reserves (about 675 billion barrels); and
“— the Caspian basin with an estimated 270 billion barrels of oil plus one-eighth of the world’s natural gas reserves.
“New World Order” strategy aims to secure them. Russia, China, and Iran have other plans. India allies with both sides.”
The game the US is playing in Georgia today is ultimately doomed to failure because, thanks in part to US bullying in the form of tariffs, sanctions, embargoes and media slander, Russia and China are being pushed into each others’ arms. But without these two countries, Brzezinski’s “centre of world power” will never be theirs, and they know this. So what we are seeing in Eastern Europe, with regime change efforts, meddling by US NGOs, anti-Russian propaganda and NATO exercises at Russia’s border, is all just vain flailings much like the gasping and flopping of a landed fish at the bottom of a boat. The Middle East is also lost to the US thanks to US overreach in the region, ie, the near-total destruction of Iraq and Syria with US bombs and US-allied terrorists cynically called “moderates,” the hostility of US ally Israel toward the Iranians and Hezbollah in Syria, Lebanon and Iran, and Russia’s increasing military power to confront the US armed forces. Just this morning, for instance, we read that Israel – which has been itching for war with Russia partner Iran – is charging Russia with using its electronic warfare means to disrupt the GPS signals over Israeli airspace. Seen in this perspective, the Georgian protests were mere pinpricks, and Putin dealt swiftly with them by banning air travel between Russia and Georgia. The following translation adds up the reckoning for this move by the Kremlin.
We remind the reader that this economic backlash is at work all over Russophobic Eastern Europe, for example, in Latvia, as we showed here. We also showed here how Ukraine had been impoverished by its adventure with the US and its suicidal disconnect from the Russian economic sphere that once provided a fair share of the nation’s income. What the victims of anti-Russian propaganda need to wake up to is the fact that the US, despite its history of generosity, eg, via the Marshall Plan, has long been out of the business of actually helping people economically, even those states that have fallen for its regime change propaganda. Its modus operandi now is flat-out impoverishment.
The unspoken statement by Putin is “you want to hate on Russia, fine, but there is a price to pay.”
Russophobia costs at least 750 million dollars
June 25, 2019
Thanks to the consistent efforts of Georgian politicians (and the Georgian voters who support them), we can finally answer the question: how much does Russophobia cost? If the data provided by the head of the Federation of Hotels and Restaurants of Georgia Shalva Alaverdashvili are true, then the approximate price is (for a start and without additional Russian sanctions) about 750 million US dollars. If we proceed from the population of Georgia at 3.7 million (according to the World Bank), it turns out that the anti-Russian actions and demonstrations with slogans about the Russian occupation, and indeed the whole bright carnival of gleeful Russophobia will cost $202 per resident of Georgia, that is, about half the average white collar salary, according to the government portal Investingeorgia.org. It is clear that the losses from the decline of the Russian tourist flow will not be evenly distributed across the population, but still the figure is already making an impression. Moreover, with the continuation of the anti-Russian policy, these losses (in the form of lost revenues) will be repeated from year to year.
In terms of Georgia’s GDP, the losses from a reduction in the number of Russian tourists look even more interesting. According to the World Bank, Georgia’s GDP is only $ 15.5 billion, so a loss of $ 750 million, or about 4.83% of gross domestic product, is a very serious blow to the national economy. The figures are especially impressive if you consider that the loss estimate of the Georgian side was taken not from a Russian official, but from a Georgian source - after all, who would know better than the founder of the Federation of Hotels and Restaurants of Georgia how much money the tourist sector of the country will lose?
However, it is definitely not necessary to dwell on tourism. There is no need to engage in lengthy polemics with arrogant politicians of foreign countries, and even more so we need not beat our breasts over the fact that a certain Kiev or Tbilisi at some point in its history does not see its future as being with Russia, does not want to respect Russian interests or show even minimal respect for Russians, who in some limiting countries are called “Moskals” [an ethnic slur of Russians in Ukraine], sometimes “occupiers,” or other pejorative terms.
All neighbours and partners need to convey (preferably with the help of the most painful measures of economic impact) a simple idea: good relations with Russia, which, among other things, make it possible to earn access to Russian markets and Russian money, is a privilege, and this privilege must be earned, and then carefully cultivated, groomed and cherished. Those who do not understand this will remain without access to Russian money and markets – this is not a matter of punishment, it is a matter of Russia's elementary self-esteem as a country. Paying money to a country whose leadership sincerely hates Russia and the "Russian occupiers" is, to put it mildly, a strange and extremely unproductive strategy.
The ultimate goal of this economic educational process can be considered a situation in which any anti-Russian statement by the president or prime minister will trigger an immediate reflex in the residents of a bordering country, namely: you need to go to a rally and throw this president or prime minister out onto the street, otherwise there will be sanctions again, and again there will be expensive gas, again there will be no tourists, again there will be no money. If the residents of the neighbouring country do not do this, then economic pressure must be increased until the conditioned reflex becomes fixed. And this is not “imperial manners,” as lovers of the idea of “returning Crimea in exchange for jamón” might think, but the best experience of our Western partners. [The mention of jamón references the Russian counter-sanctions against the first US sanctions imposed on Russia following the accession of Crimea to Mother Russia. Imported Spanish ham (jamón), a favourite of Russians, was missed at first, but was soon replaced by local delicacies when Russia embargoed European food imports].
Experience with Washington, especially if you look at the actions of the current US administration, shows how consistent the Americans are in using economic and power methods of putting pressure on those who show even the slightest anti-American intentions. An important point: for the introduction of economic sanctions or even holding actions of forceful influence, Washington, London or Brussels do not even need any special reason, and the set of pretexts is limited only by the imagination (and sometimes the sense of humour) of specialized officials. However, Russia is a more civilized state. And it uses coercive methods only in case of extreme necessity, that is, for self-defence or defence of allies, but measures of economic impact are definitely gentlemen's tools that must be applied often and wholeheartedly.
The practice of the Soviet Union convincingly shows that the elites (and a certain part of the population) of countries neighbouring Russia do not feel any gratitude for all the financial and human resources that were invested in bringing true European civilization to the backward regions that were once an individual country. And consequently, one should not repeat the mistakes of the past and look for some kind of magical mixture of attractive ideology and investments, which often slide into banal "subsidies in exchange for kisses." The inconsistent sympathies of politicians of neighbouring countries who betray Russia at the earliest opportunity (for example, after receiving the first more advantageous offer from Brussels or Washington), are not worthy of our even spending one rouble on them. The best way to make Russia an attractive partner is to invest in Russia itself, since our country is huge: every rouble invested in Kaliningrad and Samara, Perm and Vladivostok is not only an investment in the future of Russia, but also an investment in prompting the residents of neighbouring States to be jealous of the Russians, to desire that their children learn Russian and live in Russia. If this burning, total, all-pervading envy is combined with a keen sense that Russia will be quite well off without any love for Russophobic government formations at its borders, but it will be bad for them to lack access to Russian markets and money – this means that the missions of foreign policy in the so-called near abroad can be considered fulfilled.
Institutional Russophobia, contempt for Russia, statements about “Russian occupiers,” etc, are all luxury political goods that very few and very rich countries can afford (but with pain in the soul and in the wallet). Henceforth we will observe how Georgia gradually becomes aware of the high cost of the political position taken by those politicians for whom the Georgian voters massively voted. We can assume that those 750 million dollars, which Georgia may lose on reduced Russian tourism, will be augmented by losses from embargoes of Georgian wine to Russia (which is about 116 million dollars a year). Paraphrasing the well-known Russian saying, one can say that the miser pays twice, the fool thrice, and the Russophobe constantly, and it always will be so. Paraphrasing of the Russian proverb: Скупой платит дважды, дурак трижды а лох — по жизни, ie, the miser pays twice, the fool thrice and the dupe all his life]