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Vol. 72/No. 34      September 1, 2008

Russian troops out of Georgia!
(lead article/editorial)
Working people everywhere should condemn Moscow’s invasion of Georgia and call for the unconditional withdrawal of all Russian troops from that country now. That is the course that is in the interests of workers and farmers in Georgia, the entire Caucasus region, Russia, and worldwide.

As Russian troops continue to dig in and build permanent military structures in Georgia, the bureaucratic regime in Moscow seeks to reassert its domination in the region. The invading force is protecting the interests of the privileged layer of wannabe capitalists in Russia. In doing so, the regime led by former KGB thug Vladimir Putin is continuing the Great Russian chauvinist policies of the Stalinist regime that for decades ruled the Soviet Union.

Russian forces, with the aid of the misnamed “peacekeeping” troops from the imperialist-led Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, have been stationed in South Ossetia since 1992 and in Abkhazia since 1994, under the pretext of ending the armed conflicts there. Their presence in these regions—which are inside Georgia’s internationally recognized boundaries—have been a violation of Georgia’s national sovereignty from the start.

Moscow cynically claims it is defending the national rights of the peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It hopes no one will remember the tens of thousands slaughtered by Russian forces during its 1994 and 1999 wars against Chechnya.

The rights of the Ossetian and Abkhaz peoples have been trampled on by the Russian tsars, the Stalinist regime, and the various governments in Tbilisi since Georgia declared independence in 1991. The only exception was the early years of the Russian Revolution, when the Bolshevik-led government under V.I. Lenin carried out a working-class course championing the right of self-determination of nations oppressed by the tsar. The bureaucratic caste that usurped political power in the mid-1920s overturned those policies.

Moscow had long been planning its attack on Georgia, tightening the economic squeeze on that nation and strengthening its military presence there. It makes no difference who fired the first shot.

The so-called cease-fire agreement is in reality a plan for the permanent stationing of Russian troops in Georgia. The “agreement” was rammed down the throat of the Georgian government at gunpoint, with the help of Paris and Washington.

Anyone with doubts on where U.S. imperialism stands should look at statements by U.S. National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe. After chiding Moscow for its “disproportionate” actions, he said Washington “can understand their [Moscow’s] desire to protect their peacekeepers” from Georgian attack.

Washington has also taken advantage of the Russian invasion to strengthen its own interests in the region. Within days of the Russian assault, the Washington announced it had reached agreement with Warsaw for a permanent U.S. missile base in Poland.

Working people should demand: All U.S. troops out of Europe!

Workers and farmers in Georgia, including in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, need political space to advance their interests, including the right to self-determination. To do that they need to remove the boot of Russian occupation.

Russian troops out of all of Georgia, including South Ossetia and Abkhazia, now!
Related articles:
Invading Russian troops dig in
Wars in Chechnya revealed Moscow’s chauvinism
How Lenin fought to defend Georgia’s self-determination
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