....S.C. echoes the mistake of many middle-class radicals who adopt a political position based on "the enemy of my enemy is my friend and the friend of my enemy is my enemy." They don't start with the concrete facts and how to advance the interests of working people.
The relationship between Moscow and Washington is not just a series of constant clashes; it is more complex and contradictory. Wannabe capitalists in the bureaucracy in Moscow compete with imperialist corporations for control of oil, natural gas, and other resources. At the same time Moscow has openly aided Washington in its war in Afghanistan; Washington mostly stayed silent when Moscow massacred 30,000 Chechens who sought independence for their homeland. It should also be noted that while Washington complains about the "disproportionate" Russian invasion and continues to seek to pressure Moscow by calling for sanctions, the U.S. government does not call for all Russian troops out of Georgia, only that they return to the positions they occupied prior to the recent outbreak of fighting.
Moscow's government-run news site Russia Today says, "For years Georgia was part of the Russian empire… . The ancient ties between the two peoples are deep and exist on many levels." The message is that Georgia should belong to the "empire."
The reference to "ancient ties" are nothing less than an attempt to prettify the Russian chauvinist domination of Georgia and other oppressed peoples in the tsarist prison-house of nations. This domination was given a new lease on life with the victory of the Stalinist counterrevolution that overthrew many of the gains of the October 1917 Russian Revolution. Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, trained in the school of KGB thuggery, wants to rebuild the old relations and exact tribute from Georgia and other oppressed nations in the region.
The Russian invasion had nothing to do with advancing the national rights of the people of South Ossetia and Abkazia. The "independence" of South Ossetia lasted just a few days before it was announced that the region would be merged with North Ossetia and "absorbed" by Moscow. The legitimate fights of the people of South Ossetia and Abkazia will not be advanced while they and Georgia are under Moscow's boot.
Revolutionaries do not recognize the legitimacy of "spheres of influence" whether put forward by imperialists or bureaucrats. The line of march advanced by V.I. Lenin and the Communist International—"Workers and oppressed peoples of the world, unite!"—remains the starting point for revolutionaries today. That's why theMilitant continues to demand Russian troops out of Georgia. It is in the interest of working people in Georgia, Russia, and around the world.