Georgians, not Russians were behind the now infamous shooting incident.
In fact, the Saakashvili presidency has been accused, even by one of its own members, of planning attacks on sepratist regions in August this year. This crisis was not the immediate cause of a “Russian” invasion anywhere, let alone South Ossetia: it was the result of a petulant Sakkashvili, easily provoked by Moscow.
The shooting incident on Sunday, when president of Georgia and Poland, went to the de facto border between Georgia and South Ossetia - and an area that was once in Tbilisi’s hands before the August war - appears, according to the Polish security service, BOR, to have been a set up by Presidents Saakashvili and his Polish friend. A report for the government says that Polish security forces became separated from the presidents’ car. When the first of three bursts of automatic fire began, Georgian commanders at the scene did not flinch, did not react. It was almost as if they were expecting the gunfire. Saakashvili was reported by BOR to have been smiling!
The accusation by even Polish officials that this was a set up by the Georgian side - and not the Russians as Kaczynski and Saakashvili have both alleged - does two things. It hands over to the Kremlin a propaganda victory - people will begin to believe Putin much more than they will a Kaczynski or a Saakashvili, or a Bush; it also gives the excuse to Moscow to ratchet up the bullyboy tactics in the Caucuses, and weakens any principled stand against them.
Many are coming to the conclusion that Poland’s president’s obsession with the region is helping make the place more unstable. If rule one of foreign policy is: ’Do no harm’, then Kaczynski is failing the test.
We should not join President Kaczynski or anyone else - like George W. Bush - in trying to make out that Saakashvili is some kind of super-patriot, fighting a lone battle against the evil empire of Russia. The reality is that both politicians - from Georgia and Poland - are more interested in a “crusade” against the Kremlin, for reasons best known to themselves. The rest of us should not be joining in on this vanity project.