Regular Political Errors or Fear of Loss of Power? (Part Two)
30 September, 2010
Regular Political Errors or Fear  of Loss of Power? (Part Two)

Draft was declared in Georgia. In three day’s time most of Georgia’s professional military were at the front line.

The result of the initial military operations clearly demonstrated not only the defeat of the Russian troops, but counter-advance of the Georgian army. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.

GJ – Head of the government of the Georgian Democratic republic, the leader of Social-Democrats Noah Zhordania committed serious mistakes in the process of building a newly independent state, which brought the country to a

sheer catastrophe. You have already commented on his errors in building Georgia’s military power, economy and foreign policy. What other miscalculations had taken place under his leadership?  
SM – Zhordania could not even put together the adoption of constitution until the very last days of his rule. He fled Tbilisi February 25 of 1921 under the pressure of the Soviet Army, and the constitution was adopted just four days before that. And the text of the constitution was prepared by nobody else but one of the leaders of Georgia’s patriotic forces Zurab Avalishvili. Meanwhile, Georgia at that time had many high-class lawyers who could have worked over the text of the Law of the Land. For example, the Minister of Justice Shalva Alexi-Meskhishvili used to be an expert of international standing. Nothing less was the self-same Zurab Avalishvili. These people were very well versed in legal issues and had worked a lot in the field, but Zhordania did not even make an attempt to let the constitution be adopted. He did not even take care for Georgia to have normal flag and anthem or coat of arms as new national symbols.

GJ – But Georgia did have a national flag – maroon, white and black, didn’t it? 
SM – That was the Menshevik party flag and not a state banner which did not represent anything either historically or heraldically speaking. Neither had it symbolized any spiritual values for the nation. The national coat of arms lost the halo over the head of St. George, and in its stead the image of moon and stars was inserted into the background. The dragon had also disappeared from it, which used to be defeated by Georgia’s most elevated saint figure. So they made the national emblem look like an infantile daub. In a word, Georgia had a coat of arms which even the most barbaric state would never care to have. I am not saying anything about the anthem which was copied from the German national anthem. And they copied it very badly. In the country of polyphonic singing they could not even make choice of the tune for the anthem.

GJ – Well . . . we can’t really say that Georgia was defeated in 1921 because of the wrongly chosen heraldic symbols, can we? 
SM – Let’s get it right, shall we? We are talking here about their callous attitude. This is only one example of their crimeful and irresponsible treatment of the state and the motherland.

GJ – Georgia was part of the world politics, and further development of events here greatly depended on international environment. It also depended on whatever deals Georgia would strike with neighboring states, in what way the figures would be moved around on the political chess-desk and whose power would influence who in the future. Is this true? 
SM – Of course it is! You and I have many times analyzed political situations in which Georgia had historically found itself and we will have to be doing this further on until we get to the end of the story. Here is what was happening in the aftermath of the Russian Socialist Revolution of 1917: with fits and starts and certainly with God’s help Georgia achieved independence from the Russian Empire soon after that – on May 26 of 1918. In 1919 Georgia was recognized by Argentina as an independent nation. The same year, the election of the National Founding Assembly (parliament) was held. As a matter of fact, it went quite democratically, but unfortunately for the Georgian people, the electorate once again supported the Social-Democratic Party of Noah Zhordania. You know the reasons for this, don’t you? We have profusely spoken about this before. The White Guard movement and Britain could not come to an agreement. Relations between them cooled down. Instead, Britain grew more interested in Georgia, but Great Britain was at that time no longer the powerful lion it used to be before. Meanwhile, Russia managed to come in touch with Turkey again, having contacted the movement of Kemal Pasha (Mustafa Kemal Ataturk) there. The situation was very heavy in Turkey then. Constantinople was still occupied by the Pasha and the Triple Entente powers. The coastal cities were controlled by the Greek, and Anatolia and Capadocia were taken over by Kemal Pasha Ataturk. It was he who the Bolshevik Russia sought contact with. Russia took advantage of liaison with Ataturk on the one hand and the nonchalance of the Azeri Musavats on the other:  in 1920 they staged unexpected coup d’etat in Baku, soon followed by its occupation. Thus the Bolshevik Russia invaded Azerbaijan. The military operations were performed by the Eleventh Russian Army which was headed by Bolsheviks Orjonikidze, Kirov and Yeker. All those processes were controlled and directed by Stalin himself. By invading Baku, the Bolsheviks grabbed military initiative in the entire South Caucasus and decided to widen the front. They had hardly taken Baku when they approached the Georgian borders. This was all happening by the end of April of 1920. Draft was declared in Georgia. In Three day’s time most of Georgia’s professional military were at the front line. The result of the initial military operations clearly demonstrated not only the defeat of the Russian troops, but counter-advance of the Georgian army. By the 19th of May, the Georgian army was already in the vicinity of Baku. That was exactly when the assaulting Georgian army received an order from Zhordania to hold the fire and retreat.

GJ – This was very strange, wasn’t it? How could you possibly explain Zhordania’s decision? 
SM – That was treason! General Kvenetadze for example, strongly believed that the war with Russia was lost not in 1921 but in May of 1920 when we refrained from driving the Russians out of the Caucasus.

GJ – And this happened when all possible resources to finish the job were in place . . .
SM – Georgia’s success was so vivid and strong against the Eleventh Russian Army that the Russians were fleeing without even looking back. The Georgian army would have taken Baku and cleaned it from Russians without even a vestige of confrontation. Azerbaijan would only have supported us. Zhordania had halted the advance of the Georgian forces with that infamous act of treason . . .

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