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Abkhazia and the Caucasus: the west’s choice
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Scottish Republican

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:10 am    Post subject: Abkhazia and the Caucasus: the west’s choice Reply with quote

Neither of these territories - both ethnically distinct - wanted to be part of Georgia when the Georgians declared independence in 1991. Both fought vicious wars against Georgian encroachment in the next few years. Both have now been effectively independent for over fifteen ears, and there is no prospect of a Tbilisi government taking control of them except by the use of armed force. As that would precipitate another, perhaps even a deeper and more savage Russian invasion of Georgia, it is out of the question. American or British talk of “restoring Georgia’s territorial integrity” is therefore nonsense: at best hypocritical, at worst suicidally ignorant.

But the differences between South Ossetia and Abkhazia matter too. South Ossetia, with a mere 70,000 people, is not really a proposition. Its people, if they were ever allowed a free choice, would probably reject independence and join their North Ossetian relatives in the Russian Federation. Abkhazia, in contrast, has a plausible future. It has about 250,000 inhabitants, the most beautiful stretch of the entire Black Sea coast, and rich sub-tropical agriculture. Most importantly, its people want to make a reality of their independence. They have no intention of letting the Georgians conquer them. To prevent that, they accept the presence of Russian troops and warships. But neither do they want to become just one more slatternly Russian colony. They would like Abkhazia to become a small, free, prosperous Black Sea state with close links to Europe.

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 The Cornish Rebellion of 1497 was a popular uprising by the people of Cornwall in the far south west of Britain. Its primary cause was the raising of war taxes by King Henry VII on the impoverished Cornish for a campaign against Scotland, motivated by brief border skirmishes that were inspired by Perkin Warbeck's pretence to the English throne. Tin miners were angered as the scale of the taxes violated previous rights granted by Edward I of England to the Cornish Stannary Parliament which exempted Cornwall from all taxes of 10ths or 15ths of income. The Cornish had little sympathy for English wars against Scotland, considering that most Cornish were not English speakers at that time.  

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