Please excuse this interruption. A few years ago, my wife and I had the pleasure of visiting Georgia, the former Soviet republic presently under attack by Russian forces. It is a sadly forgotten gem on the world map: naturally beautiful with a lovely climate, wonderful cuisine, generous people. We had the good fortune to make a number of friends during our visit, and recently received an email from one, which I thought I’d share.
We all need so desperately our friends’ support during these horrible days! Russian brutality is just beyond all boundaries, let alone the information war that they are waging against Georgia. They are punishing us for our hope and aspiration to be a civilized western country. I really hope this is the last time that we see Russians on our soil. They are saying they have stopped the bombing of civilians, however the violence form the soldiers continues, they are moving all around Gerogia on their tanks and bullying the local population. Actually, on Monday only the strict statement of President Bush prevented them from bombing our capital, though they bombed the suburbs of it. Yesterday and today they have been throwing explosives from their helicopters on the pristine forests of Georgia—at the moment 50 hectares of forest is already devastated because of the fire. Today they have exploded the rail bridge connecting West and East Georgia with the aim to prevent humanitarian aid via Turkey. I lack words to describe what they have planned and what they have done and how they used irresponsible local “leaders” of S.Ossetia and Abkhazia for their dirty politics to prevent Georgia’s NATO accession. Well, I don’t have enough words to describe all our anger, but we stay calm, unified and are determined to build and restore our country as soon as possible and move forward, without looking in the past.
I should note that one of the days we spent together was a trip to Gori, the Georgian city that has been a target of Russian bombing. It is, ironically, the home of the Stalin Museum.