Our Analytics 17 july — 11:23

Why didn't Azerbaijani border guards open fire on Georgia? (Our editorial)

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BY EYNULLA FATULLAYEV

This seditious question is being heard today from the mouth of every second Azerbaijani who has been caught off guard by the insane incident that occurred recently at the Azerbaijani-Georgian border. Yes, again we are talking about the scandalous David-Gareji, or Keshikchidag. Whatever you like, call it, but yesterday's video scattered on social networks, in which a group of provocateurs, under the specious pretext of outrage and support for the civilian sector of Georgia, attacks Azerbaijani border guard, moreover, snatches his service weapon from him, struck the imagination of the Azerbaijani public. The authors of the script are close to the realisation of the plan. Both Georgians and Azerbaijanis have bare nerves at the limit. And the fragile visible stability can break at any moment...

The complex of Keshikchidag monasteries is a heritage of the early Christian Orthodox civilisation, something resembling the legendary Greek Orthodox meteors, as recognised by Georgian historians themselves, is the heritage of not only the Georgian Orthodox Church, but also the Caucasian Albanian Christian culture. Medieval caves abound in inscriptions in both Georgian and Caucasian Albanian, Arabic and, of course, Greek. This precious pearl is the heritage of all continental culture, as well as other cultural artefacts of that era.

The war for the cave or the cave war?

Without going deep into the historical labyrinth that divides and not consolidates the neighbouring and friendly peoples, I will dwell only on a fundamental summary: this monastery, like other historical relics, should not become a stumbling block and subject of contention. That is why, in spite of the disputes over the ownership of the temple complex that have not subsided since the beginning of the hurricanes of the 1990s, Azerbaijan and Georgia have introduced a special compromise regime for the joint border service in this part of the border.

For the thirty-year post-perestroika period, the problem of the ownership of the complex did not cause public gossip and upheavals. And why? Access for pilgrims has always been free and unlimited. And considering the strategic alliance of two states -- Azerbaijan and Georgia, which ensured the formation of the largest transnational and regional geo-economic projects -- the fate of some historical reserve on the border strip could not, a priori, and should not become a source of conflict. For what? Where is the logic? After all, the romantic time of the Gorbachev era, which seized the national minds with delusional ideas of ethnic and religious segregation, isolation, and cave jingoism has sunk into oblivion. Having separated, we began to unite again. Especially in the era of the winning century of globalism. The question is, after all, Georgia, enveloped by Eurocentrism in the age of conquering Euroscepticism, should be the last to strive for national-territorial restrictions? How is it?

However, from the very beginning, the presence of third forces has been felt in the artificially created arena of fictional struggle for this historical reserve. In Georgia, with its variegated and heterogeneous political system, it is much easier to organise a well-managed anarchist 'Occupy' than in another post-Soviet country. Purpose? To bring discord and rekindle the conflict between sovereign Georgia and its strategic partners: Azerbaijan and Turkey. To bring the situation up to push Azerbaijan to resort to tough sanctions.

First provocation, the beginning of May

Do you understand now why Azerbaijani border guards showed unprecedented composure?

The provocateurs are trying to bring the situation around the historical reserve to an explosive point. Initially, a group of NGO activists with a pro-Western decoration invaded the reserve and hoisted Georgian national flags there. Azerbaijan showed restraint by calling on the neighbouring country for prudence. The second provocation is the attack on the border guards detachment... This time again the Azerbaijani authorities retained their composure and clarity of thought, which does honour to the command of the State Border Service and the political leadership of the country.

Important note. Contrary to the rumours, which were exaggerated by the Azerbaijani opposition, the border guard, who showed incredible restraint and military discipline during the attack of the 'Georgian Occupy activists,' was not the rank and file or the conscript, but a warrant officer of the State Border Service. Fortunately, the performers of someone's will stumbled not against a private soldier, but against a professional serviceman of the border troops.

Second provocation

Azerbaijan calculates all the scenarios of the current situation. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, and then the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia made fair statements and reproaches, accusing, above all, their own citizens of provocative actions. I repeat, in Azerbaijan all the organisers and participants of such provocations would have been detained and punished. In postmodern Georgia, due to a combination of political and international factors, the government apparently cannot afford an offensive against civil sector institutions controlled from the outside. Although…

Although recent events pose a threat not only to the national security of Azerbaijan, but also of Georgia. And during the last assault of the Georgian parliament, when the law-enforcement officers shot at the rebels with rubber bullets, the Georgian authorities clearly demonstrated that they could put out riots when they wanted to. This is not about syndicalism. And the Georgian government must realise that during the next attempt to attack an Azerbaijani border guards detachment a crowd of anarchists can be fired upon using live ammunition. Is it really so difficult to disperse a bunch of provocateurs with rubber bullets, like on Rustaveli Avenue, using your own rapid reaction forces?

This is how the Georgian government shoots demonstrators on Rustaveli Avenue

Moreover, as the Georgian Foreign Ministry rightly stated, the dispute over the historic monastery should be resolved in the format of an interstate commission on delimitation. And everybody must wait for the results. Otherwise... Yes, otherwise irreparable can happen. And the sooner this is understood in Tbilisi, the sooner our strategic ally will manage to resolve the situation.

And finally, just for the sake of justice, about the ugly excitement, arranged by opposition bloggers and the frontist black-hundred network. Ali Karimli and others like him accused the Azerbaijani authorities of indecision and cowardice. Here you have a psychological portrait of applicants for absolute power in the country. The oppositionists are wondering in perplexity: why didn't the authorities order to open fire on the crowd of Georgian anarchists? Frontists spoke about the honour of the uniform and the code of dignity.

This is how opposition leaders calculate the political situation: just two moves ahead. Once again, the opponents of the authorities, due to the scarcity of the analytical mind, did not realise the whole scale of well-organised provocation (or they did realise, but decided to play along with the scriptwriters) and all the far-reaching consequences of the scenario developed by political scientists from the outside. After all, the scriptwriters were counting precisely on an armed incident and a chaotic development of the situation up to the interstate conflict. Is it really so difficult to understand and realise this?

The Black Hundred Front opens its inner Front again

How can one build a political platform on bare emotions and jingoist populism? Moreover, after all, in this case, it is not about internal political strife, but about the national state interests of the country. Although what are we talking about? After all, the end justifies the means. And the end is to use any situation, including the national threat, in order to violate the status quo established by the social contract. All means against the authorities, all means for attaining power.

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