The Caucasian Policy of Georgia

One can hardly imagine any Georgian, really endowed with a natural talent of a statesman or a public figure and possessed with the ability of political thinking, who does not appreciate the fact that Georgia is an organic and overwhelmingly important part of the Caucasus, and this part should without fail have worked out its conception of regional development, i.e. the Caucasian policy, if not for other reason, at least for safety of the country. In view of this fact the concept of steady development necessarily implies regional development, i.e. constructive relations with the neighbor countries at all levels and showing concern for the development of kindred nations, especially as the matter concerns those not great and weak countries, which constitute the present-day Caucasus, and cannot exist separately, under hostile and unfriendly conditions. It is obvious to any sober-minded and far-seeing person, no matter what is he or she, a politician or a housewife, that one can have no peace with a poverty-stricken and troubled neighbor, notwithstanding the fact that you are not the reason of his misfortune at all.

A neighbor, be it a family, people or a country, is a destiny. A neighbor bears more influence over one’s everyday life than any relative does, and one needs to rely on diplomacy and good will in order to maintain friendly relations with the neighbors.

In view of this, it would be the only correct conduct if some more developed country tries in some way to help a neighbor and with that to contribute, at least, to the closeness, and at best, to the equalization of cultural and civil levels of different peoples and countries, for it is known that common vital interests built over the equal cultural levels only lay the solid foundation of real dialog and cooperation. This, in its turn, outlines the right perspective of comprehensive development.
But the situation is different now, and this, unfortunately, is natural: as it is common knowledge, Georgia, in contrast to the Baltic republics, proved to be intellectually unready to meet the collapse of the Soviet empire, however, nothing would hinder them from getting prepared for that. This unreadiness has found a fatal reflection in the lack of knowledge of maintaining the relations with the different phenomena, with the other nations, i.e. Georgia turned out to be devoid of the experience and knowledge that always had been the principal treasure of the country’s national rationality: Georgia was lacking in political thinking and patriotism on the basis of which the country would have been able to avoid bloody conflicts with the nearest neighbors, loss of territories, etc.
It causes great alarm that the crisis of post-soviet period and the failure in almost all spheres of life made no impact on the decisive forces of Georgian society to realize their political and ethical mistakes, of which especially the absence of the so-called Caucasian policy is a matter of utmost importance. Consequently, Georgia, contrary to its historical mission, turned into an immediate cause of inner-Caucasian crisis and confrontation because of the lost wars with the Abkhaz and the Ossetes, and not only for this reason.

As to Georgia’s function with respect to the rest of the Caucasus, it is known that the Georgian intellectual elite always comprehended the vital importance of Caucasian unity: it was obvious that a small country, which was of interest of great foreign forces, would not have been able to exist surrounded with the hostile neighboring countries. It was also obvious that a multiethnic and multireligious country with different ethnos and true and not feigned religious tolerance would not have been able to survive without keeping up a friendship with them. That’s why the mentioned political thinking was ranked as a state ideology. Suffice is to mention an exceptionally eloquent passage from the work of a Georgian historian Leonti Mroveli, where all the Caucasian peoples are referred to as the sons of one father, Targamos. There also is a wonderful legend about Eloise and Sedona, the Jew sister and brother from Mtskheta. The legend deals with the first appearance of Christianity in Georgia and was aimed at non-admission of confrontation between the Christians and the Persians. At this point, noteworthy are Ilya Chavchavadze’s words: “People have risen in rebellion; people are in a rage; people from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea are possessed with the thought of freedom of the Caucasus”.

The facts that took place in Georgia from 1989 with respect to the ethnic minorities – and the Caucasian peoples – was an utter destruction: criminal irresponsibility and total ignorance of the Caucasian peoples’ mentality and inner world.

All was done for the purpose of stirring up enmity against the nearest neighbors leading to the loss of territories that seemed quite natural under the existing circumstances, when Georgian people robbed and plundered their native country themselves.
History has been powerless so far to let the Caucasus and Georgia know that the major cause of their misfortune is in an attempt of the Caucasian peoples to weaken each other. Accordingly, strengthening of each other will bring salvation. History has been incapable to make it clear to the Caucasian peoples that there is no point in fighting with Russia, as it will lead to extinction of the entire nation. History is helpless to convince the Caucasians of the truth that Russia always turns to her advantage every attempt of the Caucasian nations against each other. As a result, all the Caucasians turn to be punished: the Georgians are punished because they failed to reach an understanding with the Abkhaz and the Ossetes and launched a military conflict against them, having vague hopes that the West would help them. The Armenians, who intended to settle the problem of Karabakh with the assistance of Russia, are also punished, as they implemented Russia’s will of hampering the independence of Azerbaijan and possible consolidation of the Transcaucasian republics. The Abkhaz and Ossetes are punished as well – they decided to separate from Georgia through Russia, and with that contributed to the partition of Georgia. Punished are the Chechens, who, instead of taking the part of mediator and reconciler between the Georgians and the Abkhaz, were involved in fighting against the Georgians, and with that furthered the emergence of the abyss between the Northern Caucasus and Georgia, whereupon it became psychologically easier for Russia to destroy Chechnya… and so on.

And finally, the chief thing: the policy based on violence, treachery and immorality can have a destructive effect on the whole mankind, and first of all, it will raze to the ground the infantile, chaotic and instable nations like us.

Our Caucasian policy, like any other one, should be in truth unprejudiced and judicious, similar to the country’s and people’s mode of life on the whole.

We should not deceive ourselves with demagogy of the mighty of this world trying to convince us of the idea that physical force and crafty designs ostensibly can bring salvation, that politics, as masterful immorality supposedly will remain a wicked technology of deceiving and devouring the others.

We, as well as other punished, disintegrated and depressed nations should remember and be fully confident that morality – honest life, fair and well-wishing relations with other nations – is the most pragmatic and secure thing. Consequently, immorality can be the pledge of passing successes and insubstantial, imaginary progress only.

This will help us to regain the lost confidence in each other, and if Georgia in fact is among the best, we will manage to persuade the Abkhazians and Ossetes that Georgia is the best country for them and their children. In this case only we will be able to recover the lost territories and peoples, not through threatening and wars or attempted wars, but through spiritual, intellectual and economical restoration of Georgia. This is realizable provided we succeed in creation of the Georgian cultural, lingual and economical areal on the entire territory of Georgia that should be based on a real, refined program of development worked out with good will.
If Georgia fails immediately to change the attitude to the Caucasian peoples and to the ethnic minorities residing on the territory of the country, and if Georgia does not set about shaping an actually important Georgian-Caucasian policy, we, regardless of the oil-pipe lines and silk road, will grow so weak that it will be easier to walk on us than in an empty corridor.
Below is given a list of the concrete Caucasian projects, which are either worked out by the Caucasian house or considered essential to be worked out:

1. Setting up of a broadcast system; the frequency range of the broadcasting station must embrace the Caucasus, Russia, Turkey and Europe (for the Caucasian Diaspora). The cultural-educational, information and peace broadcasting programs must be transmitted in all Caucasian languages, as well as in the European, Turkish and Russian languages. The “Caucasian House” can provide the cultural-educational program in the Caucasian languages.

2. Establishment of the “European-Caucasian” institute, or a kind of the institute of Caucasiology – an academy with a complete staff of highly qualified key personnel to graduate real experts of the Caucasus. (Neither in Georgia nor beyond its limits can be found such experts of the Caucasus, who have sound knowledge of cultural history, geography, economics, culture, ethno-psychology, languages, etc. of the Caucasus and, at the same time, are well-informed about the West and Russia).

3. Putting an end to the policy of threatening carried out towards the Abkhaz and the Ossetes. This inspires terror in the population, with that the belief is growing that Georgians dream of revenge and Russia is the only way of salvation.

4. Restoration of the official state tradition practiced even in the Soviet period, which implied an open admission of the Caucasian students and post-graduate students to the universities and institutes of Georgia; the encouragement of the North Caucasian scientists to defend theses in Tbilisi.

5. Contribution to the development of Caucasiology as a science; edition of such books as: “The Red Book of the Caucasus”, “The Nature of the Caucasus”, “The Caucasian Mythology”, “The Caucasian Folklore”, “The Ethnography of the Caucasian Peoples”, etc.

6. Contribution to the spread of the Russian-language newspaper “Kavkazsky Akcent” throughout the Caucasus, which is the only periodical that provides the Russian-speaking population of the region with the information on social and political state of the entire Caucasus and demonstrates the potential of becoming the tribune of the Caucasian peoples.

7. Furthering the edition and distribution of the reference books about the peoples of the Caucasus that is implemented by the “Caucasian House”.

8. Contribution to all-Caucasian conferences, seminars, congresses; establishment of all-Caucasian organizations (e.g. the associations or clubs of the Caucasian doctors, lawyers, etc.); arrangement of all-Caucasian cultural actions (e.g. Caucasian festivals) in Georgia.

9. Foundation of the All-Caucasian organisation (similar to UNO) on the basis of the “Caucasian House”.

Creation of a state structure (department) carrying out the activities aimed at solving of the Caucasian problems.

Naira Gelashvili
Writer, Head of the “Caucasian House”

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