26 August 2008

Free North Ossetia! ~ Is Russia Serious or Not?

Russia has just formally recognized South Ossetia (and Abkhazia) -- i.e. the internationally recognized integral parts of Georgia -- as "independent." Interesting. If the Russians are really serious and actually mean their rhetoric, then they should simultaneously declare at least North Ossetia equally independent and thus empower all Ossetians to democratically decide their own future -- voting for:
  1. Separation as North and South, or
  2. Union of all-Ossetia
And under either condition, deciding:
  1. Total independence, or
  2. Federation with Russia, or
  3. Joining together with Georgia.
And if Russia is actually interested in the liberty of the peoples involved -- as opposed to being merely cynically imperialist, as so many people fear -- they will rapidly invite international peacekeepers from acceptably neutral countries -- let's say Ghana or South Africa or Bangladesh or Malaysia or Thailand (or all of these) -- to provide truly impartial and independent security and ensure fraud-free elections. Similarly, perhaps Russia will clearly state that any oblast or okrug or region is equally empowered to democratically decide its own future. Chechnya comes to mind. I expect almost all of them would willingly stay in the Russian Federation, because there is tremendous power to unity and common markets, and so forth. Both North and South Ossetia might cleanly chose Russia at this time, under those neutral conditions -- thus resolving this unnecessary international crisis. But some of these regions will need their independence at this point in time. Some purely to grapple with complicated internal ethnicities...Perhaps later in time, after sufficient independent development, they'll decide to rejoin the Federation. But surely this and similar issues should be resolved entirely with votes and not through violence.

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