Crying Foul in Tbilisi


Daniel M Pourkesali
by Daniel M Pourkesali

On a report aired on NPR yesterday, Ivan Watson asked a Russian officer in charge of the soldiers guarding the entrance to the town of Gori whether more fighting could erupt to which the Russian commander responded with an ominous question: "If the Americans can take Baghdad, then why can't the Russians take Tbilisi?"

That reply speaks volumes on the prevailing outside view of the U.S. in the years since the 2003 unprovoked and unlawful aggression against Iraq and how the administration’s sudden renewed respect for the rule of law rings so empty and hollow with the rest of the international community which sees through the contemptible hypocrisy perpetrated by a handful of western powers particularly the United States.

Talking to reporters on the White House Rose Garden President Bush said “We insist that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia be respected”. He also said that he is sending Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Tbilisi to show support for the Georgian government. Yet actions speak louder than words. Having violated the same by attacking and occupying both Afghanistan and Iraq, and with a massive naval fleet reportedly steaming for the Persian Gulf for a possible military confrontation with Iran over its right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to engage in nuclear enrichment, the message being heard by the rest of the world is strident and clear: We’re content with continuing to promote our double standards -- One for ourselves and our friends and one for those perceived as enemies or adversaries.

Russia ’s crossing of an international boundary must certainly be censured as it is outside the norms of civilized behavior and clearly a challenge to the core principles of the international law and the UN Charter. But its condemnation must take into account Georgia's past provocations in denying the people of South Ossetia their most basic rights. It should also be viewed on a wider front of Washington's relentless efforts to penetrate its sphere of influence in the region by seeking to promote NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine, and the deployment of a missile defense system just outside its borders.

One can only imagine how the U.S. will react if Russia moved to do the same in Cuba or Venezuela.


Recently by Daniel M PourkesaliCommentsDate
Neither wrong nor illegal
Dec 06, 2010
National Interest
Jun 17, 2009
True intentions
May 13, 2009
more from Daniel M Pourkesali
Farhad Kashani

ParsaNejad, are you

by Farhad Kashani on

ParsaNejad, are you serious? Chechnya people are fighting and dying to get independence from Russia for years now and getting crushed by Russia for asking for independence and you’re telling me about an alleged “agreement”?


FK: Educate yourself before shooting from the hip

by ParsaNejad (not verified) on

“When Georgia took independence post Soviet era, Ossetia and Abkhazia belong to it, not Russia.”

True. But as part of the terms of separation from the old Soviet Union, there was a provision that every single region within the old Soviet Union had the right to declare its own desire on whether they’d to remain a part Russia proper which both Abkhazia and South Ossetian citizens overwhelmingly declared in 1992. Russia recognized those rights while Georgia refused and the rest as they say is history.

Farhad Kashani

Mammad, are you serious? Or

by Farhad Kashani on

Mammad, are you serious? Or shall I say who are you trying to fool?


How did the Soviet empire establish? Listen in history : Russians occupied different territories. Russians made changes to those territories, not Georgians. Furthermore, when Georgia took independence post Soviet era, Ossetia and Abkhazia belong to it, not Russia. So, Russian interference is an act of aggression and violation of international law and is an occupation of a sovereign nation’s land. It is condemned by the most of the world, except by the few Iranian leftists and Isalmists on this website!


Also, none of the things you aid about me is true. But you’re more than welcome to think that I’m a right winger. I have opinions about you too. Before you confess yourself, I told you I believe that you are leftists. At first you denied it, then you admitted it, which is fine with me. I have respect for people who state their true opinion. These IRI supporters don’t come out and clearly state that they are IRI supporters and justifiers, because they know , WE, the vast majority of Iranian people despise the regime. So what they do is, the invent reality, twist definitions and tweak logic to make the regime look good. If they get enough people to get fooled by those nonsense, then, they will come out and say they are pro IRI. That hasn’t happened yet, again, they ain’t foolin no one!


In addition, I never defended Iraq war. I have said that numerous times. As hard as you guys can try for me to say I was pro Iraq war, it ain’t gonna happen for one simple reason, I was not pro Iraq war.


Finally, the comparison between Iraq war and Georgian war is interesting and I tell you why. Because the first outcome of that comparison that you guys make is that it discredits you guys’ own claim about the Georgian conflict. The reason is you’re basically saying “Well, the Georgian war is similar to Iraq war, how come you guys supported the Iraq war?” which, you yourself is saying that Russian occupation of Georgian land is wrong. That contradicts everything you guys have been saying about the Georgian conflict NOT being wrong, and you giving all the rights to Russia to invade a sovereign nation. So are you saying that Russia violated a sovereign nation like the U.S did in Iraq? If so, why have you guys been defending Russia all the time? See the hypocrisy? See the illogical claims here?


The thing is here that some of you guys are so full of hate for America, that it has really, honestly, blinded you from realizing the truth. You guys contradict yourself all the time, but I guess the satisfaction you get out of bashing America worth more than making ridicules statements and claims.


Farhad Kashani

Anonymos8, hows calling

by Farhad Kashani on

Anonymos8, hows calling someone an Islamic leftists an insult? I get called a right winger all the time, I don’t consider that an “insult”, just not factual. I tell it like it is, when I see someone is an Islamic leftist, or leftist, I call them out. If you’re not, just simply deny it. Whoever is reading these postings will make their own determination. Don’t you agree? I am well aware that there are different wings within a political spectrum, in left just as in right, you got your far lefts, religious lefts, centrist lefts, liberal lefts,,and more. It is actually the left which has the tendency of labeling people without second thought. They call anyone who disagrees with them “Zionist”, “Imperialist”, “CIA agent” and others. Minority of them show civility, not the majority. Furthermore, I didn’t call you an Islamic leftists, I criticized the Islamic leftists who make those baseless statements.


First of all the unity of a country should be kept, but not under any circumstances. It all has to go through a political process, not through violence and force. If someone in Balouchistan takes arms to get independence, the state has the right to fight it back. But if there is a political party in Balouchistan that wants to do that through a democratic process, like referendum and things like that, then that’s a totally different ball game.


My issue here is with the unbelievable hypocrisy that these Islamic leftists and leftists show. As a patriot Iranian who has kept Iranian issues on top of his list of concerns, and not Georgians, or Israeli, or U.S, or others issues…..I am disgusted by the fact that those people have double standards. They make nonsense claims that U.S is tying to help separatist groups in Iran and condemn it, but, they 1- don’t mention a single word about Russia’s clear attempts to disintegrate Georgia 2-Don’t mention a single word about The the past  Russian occupation of Iranian territory.

 Who are they trying to fool

programmer craig


by programmer craig on

It's so refreshing to see such a concise, reasonable and sound analysis for a change.

How is this "sound analysis" any different from the rest of the "sound analysis" that has been published re: Georgia on Everyone is using the same talking points.


The binary world of FK, the expert

by Mammad on

Just read what FK says, which are not even his own words, because he repeats the nonsense about south Ossetia and Abkhazia. In the Soviet Union these regions were NOT part of Soviet Republic of Georgia, rather they were autonomous regions. Ossetians and Abkhazians loath Georgians.

FK repeats word by word what the most extreme right wingers in the US say. It is not, of course, surprising. He is one himself. As usual, his world is a binary word: 

You are either with him (the great leader of Iran's democracy movement; have you read how he refers to himself as "we"? When "we" liberated Iran, "we" will accept help from the US!)) or are Islamic leftists. 

There are only two colours, black ("them") and white (the great leader, FK).

There are only two numbers, 0 ("them") and 1 (the great leader).

There are only two ways of thinking, his - the correct way - and "theirs" - that of the grand coalition of Islamists, leftists, fascists,  ...

As I said in an article posted on August 14, all of a sudden, the criminal neoconservatives, the same group that invaded Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan illegally, and are threatening to attack Iran, have discovered respect for international treaties, because they are so impotent. 

These are also the same people who invaded Panama and Grenada, helped the Contra thugs in Nicaragua, tried to overthrow democratically-elected government in Venezuela and Bolivia, etc., etc., and this is just their last two decade partial list of crimes.

The other day, McCain said, "in the 21st century, nations do not invade other nations." I suppose he thinks that the US owns the world and, therefore, US invasion of anywhere is not that. It is only a master checking on what he owns!! 



Brooking Institute Analysis

by Not Anonymous (not verified) on


Farhad, what is it with you and insults, did anyone attack you?

by Anonymous8 (not verified) on

why do you have to call nasty names? it's like you can only see "friend" or "islamist" in the world.

it's your firend, Programmer Craig who responded with an approving "Iran was under colonial occupation 100 years ago" when someone reminded him that the whole region used to belong to Iran.

What choice does anyone have if 99% of the people of a region not only want independence but they already have a functioning govenment, parliament and economy?

Yes, if any province in Iran is in that situation and has a vote and 99% vote to succeed, I don't think anybody can say anything. Only a dictator would discount that kind of popular demand. The West (and parrots like PC) are completely hypocritical and opportunistic. Georgia itself didn't have 99% who wanted to succeed from USSR!!! But that happened. Kosovo, Bosnia, East Timor happened but now, there's an exception for a pro-Russian enclave? That's total hypocrisy. It doesn't matter what politics you have.

Farhad Kashani

South Ossetia and Abkhazia

by Farhad Kashani on

South Ossetia and Abkhazia are parts of the sovereign nation of Georgia. Russia has attacked a sovereign nation for one and one reason only, because Georgia does not bow to King Putin’s imperialist policies to reinvent the Soviet Union and its outspoken in its criticisms of Russian tyranny. This great nation, which unlike Russia has a democratically elected president, wants to join NATO and no one is naïve to think Putin will put up with that. Russia has attacked and in many cases occupied almost all of its neighbors during its history. It took lands from Iran by force (Pathetic to see these Islamic leftists never mention a word about that, but they invent fictional stories about U.S injustice towards Iran!). Russia has committed war crimes in Georgia. It has violated International law, it has attacked territories in Georgia way beyond Abkahzia and Ossetia, and it has killed innocent Georgians.


Russia has given citizenship to Ossetians in preparation and prediction of this conflict. Because it knew at some point it will intervene to take away those parts from Georgia.


The hypocritical thing here is the same U.S and Iran haters who accuse U.S of trying to support separatist groups in Iran, have kept a dark silence towards Russia’s undeniable attempts to support separatist groups in Georgia. Would those Islamic leftists support a referendum in Balouchistan and Kurdistan to see if that alleged “99% independent lovers” want to separate from Iran? Would they adhere to the results?


These people have butchered logic and facts in the name of blind anti Americanism and IRI support.


Parthian, I hope you are joking

by Anonymous8 (not verified) on

South Ossetia voted twice. 99% of the people said they did not wish to be under Georgian rule. The last election had 95% turnout. Georgian government is holding on to an impossible dream, only because US eggs it on and gives it weapons and training.

South Ossetians have been electing their own leaders and managing their own economy for years. They don't pay taxes to Georgia. They are more independent than even Kurds in Northern Iraq. They have de-facto autonomy. Most of them are Russian citizens and hold Russian passports.

Tell me why it's OK for Georgia to roll in Tanks and troops and kill South Ossetians?

Daniel M Pourkesali

Dear Parthian

by Daniel M Pourkesali on

Thank you for your comment. As someone with close connections in that area of the world, I assure you that Georgia's violation of Ossetian peoples' rights is common knowledge but you may begin by reading this 102 page report by Human Rights Watch that was relaesed last year:





by Parthian on

Please give us proof, or references to incidents where Georgia was accussed by International organizations such as Human Rights Watch, or UN of depriving the Ossetians of their basic rights.


Would Fred ever accuse Holy Israel of "land grab aggression"?

by AnonymousAnonymous (not verified) on

Putting aside the fact that the phase "land grab aggression" is clunky, ungrammatical, and downright illiterate, it's worth noting that Fred would never accuse his beloved Israeli Holy State of a land grab in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Golan Heights or Shebaa Farms.

Fred, why is South Ossetia's soil suddenly so sacred for you? But then again, there is only one Holy State of the Chosen People in this world...


Read before you comment...

by ParsaNejad (not verified) on

To the anonymous commenter challenging the notion that U.S. is planning to place a missile defense system just outside Russia's border:


And welcome to planet Earth...


why do Russians have to be

by Not Anonymous (not verified) on

why do Russians have to be paranoid ? What do they think is going to happen that is so bad if these countries join NATO. Russia could join NATO as well if they sorted themselves out.

In this day and age what real threat does Russia face from the West...unless the Nationalist Putin intends to reintegrate the Russian empire.


A heroic female Georgian

by Nikkii (not verified) on

A heroic female Georgian reporter was shot by a Russian sniper during a live TV broadcast today - but managed to continue giving her report while clutching her bleeding arm.

Tamara Urushadze suddenly disappeared from view in a commotion while giving her report in Gori today.
On Tuesday, Stan Storimans, a cameraman with Netherlands-based television channel RTL Nieuws, was killed during a bombing in Gori.

On Tuesday, Stan Storimans, a cameraman with Netherlands-based television channel RTL Nieuws, was killed during a bombing in Gori.
At least, three journalists have been killed and nine wounded since fighting erupted Thursday between Russian, Georgian, and local forces in the disputed region of South Ossetia


I thought CASMII and NIAC were anti-war???


One can only imagine how the

by ...Anonymous (not verified) on

One can only imagine how the U.S. will react if Russia moved to do the same in Cuba or Venezuela.

Are you saying that the US has a missile defense system in Georgia? Where is your proof??


What this means for Iran

by Anonymous46 (not verified) on

I'm afraid of what this will mean for Iran, maybe the US will attack Iran in a desperate bid to regain some power in the region. It is a crazy idea, but this administration has been full of them.

Keep up the great work, Daniel. Your concise and convincing analysis are very important during these dangerous days.


How typical

by Fred on

CASMII/NIAC lobbyist is simultaneously asking for the Russian land grab aggression to be” censured” and making lame excuses for it.


well said!

by IRANdokht on

I can't imagine what could be added to what you said here. I agree with all the points you made.

It's so refreshing to see such a concise, reasonable and sound analysis for a change.

Thank you!