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UN Exposes Georgia's Attempted Casus Belli As Fraud


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Georgian Times

August 4, 2008

UN Blames Georgians For Khurcha Incident

I.G. Chopan

Report states that Georgian civilians were attacked

from Georgian side of Abkhaz border

-Though Georgia has claimed the attack was the work of

Abkhaz separatists, UNOMIG has found that the grenades

were fired from the Georgian side of the ceasefire

line, from about 100 metres away from the buses.

The report also notes that the presence of TV crew at

the football field by prior invitation suggests that

the attack was anticipated by whoever sent the TV

crews there.

-The TV crews were already there. Following gunfire

and the grenade attack of the buses, Georgian soldiers

and security personnel started firing heavily towards

the Abkhaz side of the border.

As Khurcha lies within the demilitarized zone, there

are no Georgian military stationed there, and the

nearest base is around 15 minutes drive away along

very bad roads, meaning that it would have been

impossible for the Georgian military to react to the

sound of gunfire or exploding grenades as rapidly as

they did without prior knowledge of the incident.

The United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia

(UNOMIG) has published a report on an incident which

occurred at Khurcha, near the border with Georgia’s

breakaway region of Abkhazia, during the recent

parliamentary election campaign.

As a result of reports that the official version of

what happened during this incident may have been

untrustworthy, an investigation was called for, which

largely contradicts the claims made by the Georgian

authorities and confirms contrary claims made by

election observers, outlined in the election report

published by HRIDC.

On the day of the parliamentary elections, May 21, it

was reported that two buses carrying ethnic Georgians

were blown up by forces operating from the Abkhaz side

of the de facto border. TV stations produced footage

of the attack and President Saakashvili later visited

injured passengers in hospital, also with TV cameras

present. The buses were carrying people from Gali to

Zugdidi to vote, it was reported.

The UN report, however, states that the passengers did

not ask to go and vote but were “requested to gather”

at the football field and wait for the bus.

After a heavy burst of small arms fire, the buses were

hit by rocket-propelled grenades.

Though Georgia has claimed the attack was the work of

Abkhaz separatists, UNOMIG has found that the grenades

were fired from the Georgian side of the ceasefire

line, from about 100 metres away from the buses.

The report also notes that the presence of TV crew at

the football field by prior invitation suggests that

the attack was anticipated by whoever sent the TV

crews there.

Three people were hospitalized by the attack and one

seriously injured, and UNOMIG will continue with its

investigation due to the “inconsistencies” between the

official version of events and its own findings.

Other investigators have also drawn similar

conclusions about the incident, again at variance with

the version offered by the Georgian government.

The Reporter studio in Tbilisi, which recently aired a

documentary on the incident in Tbilisi cinemas, has

stated directly that it believes the attack on the

buses and voters was pre-arranged by the Georgian

side.

Reporter has examined the complete TV footage,

including elements not broadcast in reports, and this

shows that the cameraman who recorded the grenades

hitting the buses had already erected his tripod in

the ideal position to record this and was filming the

empty bus when the grenades hit, clearly anticipating

this would happen.

Reporter also interviewed local residents who claimed

that two unknown men had told people to follow them as

“people were needed for a video shoot”, with no

mention of voting.

The HRIDC election report made similar allegations.

Writing two days after the event, Norwegian Helsinki

Committee representatives Ivar Dale and Aage

Borchgrevink, who were acting as election observers,

stated that although the buses did travel from the

Abkhaz side of the border carrying voters, they did

not go to the polling station, although it is implied

this would have been just as easy to do as driving to

the soccer field.

The TV crews were already there. Following gunfire and

the grenade attack of the buses, Georgian soldiers and

security personnel started firing heavily towards the

Abkhaz side of the border.

As Khurcha lies within the demilitarized zone, there

are no Georgian military stationed there, and the

nearest base is around 15 minutes drive away along

very bad roads, meaning that it would have been

impossible for the Georgian military to react to the

sound of gunfire or exploding grenades as rapidly as

they did without prior knowledge of the incident.

The HRIDC observers concur that the grenades were

fired from about 100 metres from the buses on the

Georgian side of the line, having been able to trace

the flight path of a grenade which missed the buses.

Having consulted a weapons expert, they believe that

they were probably fired by an under-slung grenade

launcher, a very short range weapon unlikely to reach

the buses if fired from the Abkhaz side of the border,

which requires specialist training to use effectively,

training which is rarely available to anyone other

than military and security personnel.

As stated in the Reporter documentary, local residents

who witnessed the incident say that the initial gun

and grenade fire came from the Georgian side, and

questioned the prior presence of TV crews at the

soccer field and the fact that no one knew who had

organized the bussing.

HRIDC claims that the voters involved were not from

Gali but locals, gathered for the purpose. All parties

concur that those responsible for the voters being in

that place at that time were not known or identifiable

election officials.

....

The authorities have not explained however why the

Abkhaz waited until the bus was in Georgian-held

territory before attacking it, as it was crossing from

their side of the line.

According to Tbilisi the Abkhaz were seeking to

restrict the movement of voters, but the UNOMIG report

contradicts this assertion, and maintains that buses

carrying voters passed freely into Georgian-held

territory throughout the voting period. The Abkhaz

side has denied involvement in the incident.

....

[T]here are likely to be further developments in this

story.

It is not known whether the Georgian side has carried

out any investigation, and to date no one has been

charged with firing bullets and grenades at buses

filled with civilians.

According to Ivar Dale and Aage Borchgrevink, “If

indeed staged by Georgian authorities themselves, the

incident is a disturbing example of cynicism, playing

on the tragedy that befell the victims of the Abkhaz

conflict, risking the lives and health of innocent

civilians for political gain.”

http://www.geotimes.ge/index.php?m=home&newsid=11796

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Georgian Times

August 4, 2008

UN Blames Georgians For Khurcha Incident

I.G. Chopan

Report states that Georgian civilians were attacked

from Georgian side of Abkhaz border

-Though Georgia has claimed the attack was the work of Abkhaz separatists, UNOMIG has found that the grenades were fired from the Georgian side of the ceasefire line, from about 100 metres away from the buses. The report also notes that the presence of TV crew at the football field by prior invitation suggests that the attack was anticipated by whoever sent the TV

crews there.

http://www.geotimes.ge/index.php?m=home&newsid=11796

Fascinating piece, Maggie, to which I add the following:

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9750

On the Brink of War: The Caucasian conflict in the context of world politics

By Fyodor Lukyanov

Global Research, August 5, 2008

RIA Novosti

South Ossetia is once again on the brink of war. Alarming reports are coming from Abkhazia, and Russian-Georgian relations continue to be tense.

Why have these two unresolved conflicts on Georgian territory grown so markedly worse? Their indefinite status is by definition volatile, and sometimes a minor event can turn a frozen conflict into a hot one. In this case, however, we are seeing a major change that reflects a fundamental process.

Kosovo's unilateral proclamation of independence from Serbia last February played a key role in these developments. There may be endless disputes over whether this has created a legal precedent or not, but realpolitik takes its course regardless.

Moscow and quite a few other capitals considered the move a serious step toward the degradation of international law and the triumph of arbitrary approaches to the resolution of global problems.

Nonetheless, Russia has chosen a course of compromise. Russia's leaders could not ignore what happened in the Balkans, but they chose not respond by recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia, even though they believe that after Kosovo was proclaimed independent they had every right to do so.

Reluctant to complicate an already difficult situation, Russia is ready to continue recognizing Georgia's formal territorial integrity. But it has opted for fully-fledged relations with both of the breakaway territories. This approach is manifest in Moscow's decision to withdraw from sanctions against Abkhazia and the Russian president's April decree on practical aid to the residents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Tbilisi understands that after Kosovo the prospect of restoring Georgia's territorial integrity has become even vaguer. If the status taking shape after Russia's move is accepted and everything is left as it is, it will soon be pointless to talk about re-integration even in theory. Abkhazia will become an element of an enormous economic project called "the Sochi Olympics." South Ossetia is already de facto a subsidized region of the Russian Federation.

Tbilisi must show resolve if it wants to break this trend. It can make diplomatic initiatives, exert military pressure and attract the attention of its Western allies by escalating tensions. Georgia's leaders believe that closer relations with NATO and future membership in the bloc will help secure their territorial integrity. Washington shares this view. According to this logic, NATO's failure to welcome Georgia and Ukraine into a Membership Action Plan in April was a sign of weakness that prompted Russia to step up its actions toward "annexing" the territories. If Moscow is told in no uncertain terms that the decision will be made, this will ostensibly promote stabilization.

But Russia's position on this issue is just the opposite. The closer Georgia is to NATO, the more resolute steps Moscow will take toward recognizing the territories which Georgia no longer controls, because Tbilisi could see some of NATO's formal commitments as a chance to resolve the conflicts militarily.

The United States has been contributing to the tension. Six months before the end of his presidency, George W. Bush badly needs some international success, if he does not want to be remembered for a chain of failures. Approval of the Membership Action Plan for Ukraine and Georgia (or at least one of them) at NATO's ministerial meeting next December is fast becoming his only chance to leave a tangible achievement.

This is why Washington is being more vocal in its support for Georgia and bringing more pressure to bear on those of its European allies who question the wisdom of such a course. One example is the recent visit to Tbilisi by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Needless to say, Georgia perceives Washington's unequivocal position as a green light to take more active steps.

Tensions are likely to reach a peak in late fall. In December, the current U.S. administration will make its last attempt to push through the Membership Action Plan. As a prelude to this, Washington will sharply step up its political activities, thereby increasing the risk of armed conflicts in the region.

Fyodor Lukyanov is the editor-in-chief of the Russia in Global Affairs magazine.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

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Thank you Paul. Interesting article. Interesting times in the Caucuses.

For any one here interested in this area or the activities of Nato in general (and who isn't?) I highly recommend subscribing to Rick Rozoff's Stop Nato Yahoo group. He sends out one daily digest of all the Nato news articles in English from around the world. It is quite an eye opener when you see it all together like that in one long list. You can see clearly how much activity is going on in the world by Nato and Empire. The tentacles spread far and wide and the costs in dollars is unbelievable. Your taxes at work and something of an explanation as to why there are silent helicopters but no silent blenders (or drinking water for millions of people).

To subscribe, send an e-mail to:

stopnato-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

To view the archives go here:

Archives:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/messages

http://lists.topica.com/lists/ANTINATO/read

Interesting developments of US involvement in Kyrgystan. They sure get around don't they?

More On US Arms Cache Confiscated In Kyrgyzstan

Voice of Russia

August 5, 2008

Arms and ammo cache found in Kirgizia [Kyrgyzstan]

In the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek the police have

seized a large stock of firearms and ammunition in a

house being rented by U.S. nationals.

The operation uncovered a range of weapons and other

equipment, including six heavy machine guns, 26

assault rifles, two rifle-attached grenade launchers,

four sniper rifles, and night vision devices.

The press service said several U.S. embassy employees

holding diplomatic immunity and 10 U.S. servicemen

were in the house during the search.

A U.S. Embassy spokesperson said the weapons had been

kept in the house with the permission of the Kyrgyz

authorities, as the servicemen were in the country for

anti-terrorist training exercises.

The Kyrgyz Prosecutor`s Office has launched an

investigation.

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=...mp;p=05.08.2008

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Thank you Paul. Interesting article. Interesting times in the Caucuses.

For any one here interested in this area or the activities of Nato in general (and who isn't?) I highly recommend subscribing to Rick Rozoff's Stop Nato Yahoo group. He sends out one daily digest of all the Nato news articles in English from around the world. It is quite an eye opener when you see it all together like that in one long list. You can see clearly how much activity is going on in the world by Nato and Empire. The tentacles spread far and wide and the costs in dollars is unbelievable. Your taxes at work and something of an explanation as to why there are silent helicopters but no silent blenders (or drinking water for millions of people).

To subscribe, send an e-mail to:

stopnato-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

To view the archives go here:

Archives:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/messages

http://lists.topica.com/lists/ANTINATO/read

Interesting developments of US involvement in Kyrgystan. They sure get around don't they?

More On US Arms Cache Confiscated In Kyrgyzstan

Voice of Russia

August 5, 2008

Arms and ammo cache found in Kirgizia [Kyrgyzstan]

In the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek the police have

seized a large stock of firearms and ammunition in a

house being rented by U.S. nationals.

The operation uncovered a range of weapons and other

equipment, including six heavy machine guns, 26

assault rifles, two rifle-attached grenade launchers,

four sniper rifles, and night vision devices.

The press service said several U.S. embassy employees

holding diplomatic immunity and 10 U.S. servicemen

were in the house during the search.

A U.S. Embassy spokesperson said the weapons had been

kept in the house with the permission of the Kyrgyz

authorities, as the servicemen were in the country for

anti-terrorist training exercises.

The Kyrgyz Prosecutor`s Office has launched an

investigation.

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=...mp;p=05.08.2008

DOES KYRGYZSTAN HAVE AN OLYMPIC TEAM?

IS IT ANYWHERE NEAR BYSERKRISTAN?

bk

Edited by William Kelly
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