Saturday, August 16, 2008

Slave Labor or Return of the Gulag?

If this is true, troubling is the least of the adjectives to use.
TSKHINVALI, Georgia: Teams of ethnic Georgians, some under armed guard, were being forced to clean the streets of South Ossetia's capital on Saturday. It was the first apparent evidence of humiliation or abuse of Georgians in the Russian-controlled breakaway republic.
"Labor even turns monkeys into humans," the Russian officer said. He threatened to arrest an AP photographer if he took pictures.

A Russian who equates Georgians with monkeys, I so want to see those pictures. Meanwhile, AFTER Russia retook the town looting is rampant.

After Russian and separatist forces had driven Georgian troops out of the nearly deserted city, there was widespread looting of stores and homes. The houses of ethnic Georgians on the outskirts of Tskhinvali were burned.

Mindzayev said police were cracking down on looters, and had shot and killed two of them Thursday. He said police have instituted a policy whereby if they catch someone with a car or truck loaded with furniture or TV sets, and the driver does not seem to be the rightful owner, both the goods and the car are burned.

Notice at first they say the police have shot a couple of looters and later they burn everything suspected of being looted - wonder how the people will file a claim for restitution if the government has burned their purloined goods. Suddenly Nagin and the NOPD aren't so bad.

Ersan Bestayev, 78, a retired officer with the South Ossetian military, said he and his wife, Valentina, were among a few dozen refugees who returned Friday night from the nearby Russian city of Vladikavkaz.

Their two sons, he said, are tank drivers in the South Ossetian army, currently part of the Russian and Ossetian contingent occupying the Georgian city of Gori.

So Russia and its satrap does control Gori, a town not in South Ossetia and splits the supine country of Georgia in two. And where have I heard of a nation using ethnic proxies in their war before? Oh right, Serbia in Bosnia-Hercegovina. We know how that turned out.

A solution of more than words needs to be pushed forward quickly. Russian forces out of Georgia would be a start. Be nice if Sec of State Rice tells Russia, US forces will take over peacekeeping duties so pull your forces and their proxies out.

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