Gia Nodia: Georgia can only count on USA, Europe and the West if difficult times come
Gia Nodia comments on Ukraine and the West
Gia Nodia, PhD in Political Science, professor at Ilia University, responds to an increased flow of anti-Western statements by Georgian social media users in the past two days, since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.
JAMnews offers his opinion unchanged:
I see a lot of posts and comments accusing the US, NATO, the West, because they “do not help Ukraine”. This emotional reaction is understandable. I also really want NATO to protect Ukraine in the same way that it would protect its own member. But, despite this very difficult situation, we must not lose a sense of reality.
It is especially difficult for democracies to get involved in wars. Public opinion is important in a democracy, and it is largely determined by collective selfishness.
It is not easy to send your children to fight someone in a war, to die. If we had a large and strong army, would we be ready to send it to war in some far away country, if we did not expect concrete benefits from this? We sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq (and we were right to do so) because it was in our interest.
I will not talk now about how shameful our government’s behaviour is. But it was created with the support of a large part of our community. It cannot be said that it has nothing to do with us.
We must come to terms with the fact that on the planet we live on, there is no good world government that would save us from all our problems.
But if in a moment of disaster we can still count on someone, then it is still the USA, Europe, the West. We want much more from them and often criticize them quite rightly, but in this criticism, we must maintain a sense of proportion.
Many have said and I repeat: whoever says that the West is “impotent”, “it does nothing”, “scared”, etc., voluntarily or involuntarily repeats Russian theses. Russia, among other things, invaded us in 2008, and then Ukraine, in order to impose this idea on us.
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When Russia entered Georgia in 2008, I was not at all impressed by the reaction of the West. There are still many disputes with Western colleagues on this issue. But this does not prevent me from repeating that if the West had not supported us, we would not have been able to maintain statehood. Everything would have ended almost like in 1921, when no one really helped us. (what happened to us later in 2012 and beyond [when power changed in Georgia] is another question, but it is not entirely the fault of the West).
We must see that today the attitude of the US and Europe towards Russia has changed radically and is changing every day. Well, yesterday Germany was stubborn about disconnecting Russia from SWIFT, today, while I was writing this post, their position has already changed.
This is not the only point: serious shifts are taking place in Germany’s position. Russia was able to unite NATO. Yes, it’s very late and we want more, but what’s happening is very important.
Of course, now Ukraine is fighting alone and everything depends on its army and citizens. But Ukraine will hold out for a few more days – the hope is not groundless – the position of the West may become even more strong.
If Ukraine now suffers a military defeat, I still do not believe that Russia will be able to digest it, and the role of the West will also be great in this.