The Georgia Hypocrisy

Where have we heard this before?

Prof. Steven Plaut

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So, let's see if we have this straight.

The entire world is horrified at Russian behavior. The Russians invent a new 'nation' in need of self-determination,
The Arabs use the 'Palestinian' separatist movement the exact same way that Russia uses the Ossetian separatists.
all as a ploy to break up Georgia. The Russians scream about the mistreatment of the Ossetians and never mind human rights abuses inside Russia, especially in Chechnya. The Russians coordinate moves by separatists inside Georgia to serve as justification for their own invasion. The Russians preach human rights and self-determination as a ploy to engage in aggression.

Hmmm. Where have we heard that before?

The story brings to mind immediately two historic parallels. The first is the campaign by Nazi Germany on behalf of 'self-determination' for the Sudetenland Germans inside Czechoslovakia in the 1930s. Germany also invented a 'people' in need of self-determination inside the small state it had designs on, invented claims of human rights abuses, and then used the separatist activities of the Sudetens as an excuse to invade and demolish Czechoslovakia in stages. Never mind that human rights were respected a zillion times better inside Czechoslovakia than inside Nazi Germany. Never mind that ethnic Germans already had their own sovereign countries they could migrate to if they were unhappy in the Sudeten areas of Czechoslovakia.

The other historic parallel concerns the invention of a 'Palestinian people.' The Arabs use the 'Palestinian' separatist movement the exact same way that Russia uses the Ossetian separatists. The Arabs and their apologists invent tales of 'human rights abuses' by Israel of 'Palestinians' much like Russia invents stories about Georgian mistreatment of Ossetians. Never mind that the human rights of Arabs inside Israel are respected infinitely better than are those of Arabs inside Arab countries (and that non-Arabs inside Arab countries are treated even worse). The world whines about "Israeli apartheid" while, in reality, Israel is the only Middle East regime that is not an apartheid regime.

In fact, the Georgians did sometimes mistreat the Ossetians and the Ossetians have a far stronger case for self-determination than the 'Palestinians. The Ossetians speak their own language unrelated to that of their neighbors and they have their own culture. In comparison, the 'Palestinians' are less different culturally and less distinct linguistically from the Arabs in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria (whence most of them migrated into Palestine in the late 19th and early 20th century) than Californians are from other Americans.

If the world is horrified at Russian aggression and behavior towards Georgians, then why are so many of these same people not horrified at Arab aggression towards Israel and behavior identical to that of Russia? Why are those who pooh-pooh the claims of a right to self-determination by Ossetians not dismissing as a similar Sudeten-style ploy the demands for 'Palestinian self-determination'? Why are Palestinians, who enjoy treatment far better than that of the Ossetians and the Chechens, the focus of countless media exposes about their imaginary mistreatment by Israel?

Where are the leftist human shields blocking Russian (and Georgian) military vehicles?

And where are all those solidarity protesters? How come the same International Solidarity Movement protesters who like to attack Israeli troops and police, and to serve as human shields to protect the poor Palestinian "victims" of Israeli self-defense, not rushing to Ossetia and Georgia to stand up to the Russian troops, throwing rocks at them and singing Kumbaya? Where are the leftist human shields blocking Russian (and Georgian) military vehicles the same way they block Israeli Defense Forces operations? Are they afraid they will not be served the same nice gourmet lattes they get when Israeli forces apprehend them for hooliganism in the West Bank?

Why are the leftists not organizing ships to break the Russian blockade of the Georgia coast the same way they are trying to provide sea-borne aid to Hamas in Gaza? Where are the Rachel Corries and why are they not challenging Russian bulldozer crews? Why are the Anarchists Against the Wall not hopping planes to Tbilisi to challenge Russian construction crews erecting walls in Abkhazia and Ossetia? Why are the Israeli leftist professors not holding pro-Ossetian poetry readings and solidarity rallies in Tbilisi?

Leftist hypocrisy seems to have no limits.




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