I never quite understood why our compatriots in the homeland have such an allergy, aversion to the country on Armenia’s northerly borders. I think I’ve just put the pieces together, and in the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, I’m grateful for having done so and, in that light, for not being a child of that place.
Georgia stole goods earmarked for Armenia and survivors in the immediate post Genocide era, I suppose deeming it their “transit fee”. They did the same after the earthquake too, according to word-of-mouth.
Georgia seems to like working with the wrong side. In the waning days of WWI, they sided with the Germans. They made nice with Turkey and Azerbaijan then and now, and are making blood money off the pipeline delivering Azerbaijan’s oil.
While the people in the country do have some pride, after all they lead the effort to prevent the elimination of Georgian and Armenian as official languages in the Soviet Union a quarter century ago, for the most part government actions leave much to be desired.
Not only is Georgia a country that probably ought not be a country as currently constituted, but it seems blind to this reality. In classical times, this area was known to have some three hundred languages and the Arabs referred to it as the “mountains of languages”, if memory serves me. Why should Ajaria, Ossetia, and Abkhazia be forcefully integrated into this country. That’s not to mention Javakhk that belongs to Armenia and the Azeris who live near the Azerbaijani border, and the so called Mtskhetan Turks returning from Central Asia after Stalin’s forced expulsion of this group from his native Georgia. The government’s discriminatory, or at least neglectful, policies towards these areas is partly what drives desires for secession. Perhaps it’s time to re-jigger the borders in the Caucasus. There are non-Azeris galore in Azerbaijan. Take all these areas, combined with a few from within Russia itself and combine them into a confederation giving each of the indigenous groups self-government with a loosely constituted federal state. In the process restore the slivers that belong to Armenia.
That brings us to another unpleasant reality. Georgia is the country that spawned Josef Stalin and Lavrenti Beria, a pair epitomizing blood-thirst.
But Georgia has paid a heavy price too. Its national church, similar to Armenia’s up to that time, was absorbed into the Russian Orthodox church upon the Russian Empire’s conquest of Georgia in the early 19th century.
This chaotic, ought-not-be existence may also account for current reality. Georgia may be on the cusp of its third non-regular/orderly/legal regime change since the fall of the Soviet Union. Shevardnadze came and went through upheaval. Sahakashvilli may end up doing the same despite, or perhaps because of, his harsh clampdown on street protests against his rule. He’s already been forced to call early presidential elections, but he’s stacking the deck against his opposition, most recently by shutting down the main TV station they used to air their side of the story. Sahakashvilli accuses his protagonists of being Russian pawns, but he’s definitively a U.S. pawn. Have he and the country no pride? Even Armenia, despite the bi-lateral Turkic blockade and Georgia’s own “polite” relations has done a better job of balancing its policies among the competing tugs of regional and planetary hegemons.
So, be grateful our homeland is not Georgia, and dig into some (T)(t)urkey.