The Georgian affair and uprising

The Democratic Republic of Georgia was a bourgeois republic created in 1918. During the Russian Civil War the nation was neutral and did not supported the White Armies nor the Red Army. But there were tensions between Bolshevik Russia and Menshevik Georgia. The Social Democratic Workers Party of Georgia was the ruling party and stood in opposition to the Bolsheviks. Like the Russian Mensheviks, they supported the rule of a bourgeois parliament over the workers councils ( soviets ). On 12 February 1921, the 11th Red Army invaded the Democratic Republic of Georgia and established the Georgian Socialist Soviet Republic. This invasion would be used by anticommunists as proof of ''communist imperialism''. Lenin however was mislead and Trotsky not informed of the invasion. The mastermind of the Georgian invasion was a Georgian himself, the man of steel called Stalin!

Revolutionary socialists call the invasion of Georgia, a tragedy. The invasion was not right and Trotsky would not have supported it. Lenin himself would have stopped Stalin and the Georgian Bolsheviks had he known the true. But Stalin played a dirty game, he wanted his homeland to be a Soviet republic. Stalin and his supporters had not learned from the failed invasion of Poland in 1920. The Red Army tried to establish the rule of workers in Poland. But most Polish workers choose to fight for nationalism and not for socialism. In Poland the Red Army was defeated and the bourgeoisie remained in power! 

Joseph Stalin and Grigoriy Ordzhonikidze were the masterminds of the invasion. But they could not invade the Democratic Republic of Georgia win-out the support from Lenin or Trotsky. Stalin did not liked Trotsky. Both men were opponents ever since Stalin showed that he did not respected the chain of command. Unfortunate for Stalin, Trotsky was the leader of the Red Army. So the only person who could give authorization for the invasion was Lenin. Because the invasion of Azerbaijan was greeted by many workers in Baku, Stalin told Lenin that many Georgian workers would welcome the Red Army. But Lenin knew that giving the czarist dominance over the Caucasus in the past, many would not like the idea of a ''Russian'' invasion. Stalin and Ordzhonikidze ordered the Communist Party of Georgia to organize strikes. The Menshevik government reacted with force and banned the communist party. Stalin made it sound that most workers were supportive of the communist party and this gave Lenin the illusion that the Georgian working class was supportive of Soviet rule!

The reality was different. Most workers were not supportive of the Communist Party of Georgia. This was because the Mensheviks were powerful in Georgia. Their Social Democratic Workers Party of Georgia had established itself as the party of the working-class, although its leadership was pro-capitalist and supported bourgeoisie rule. Lenin told Stalin and Ordzhonikidze that they needed to be very careful. Rude behaviour would only lead to ethnic hatred between Russians and Georgians. Lenin gave Stalin green-light for the invasion, Red Army troops invaded on 12 February 1921. After only a few days of fighting, the Democratic Republic of Georgia collapsed and the Georgian Socialist Soviet Republic was established!

Grigoriy Ordzhonikidze was leader of the 
Caucasian Bureau of the Russian Communist Party. He ordered the arrest of Mensheviks, liberals and all who opposed the rule of soviets. Joseph Stalin also told the local Soviet secret police ( Cheka ) to be ruthless against anyone who oppose the rule of the Russian Communist Party. Many Georgians hated the ''Russian'' invaders. Few were supportive of the workers councils and most became very anticommunist, because of the brutality of both Ordzhonikidze and Stalin. When Cheka leader; Felix Dzerzhinsky visited the Georgian Socialist Soviet Republic he told Lenin what happened!

Trotsky was right about his opposition to the Georgian invasion. Lenin was not happy with the brutality of Ordzhonikidze and Stalin. He said that their great Russian chauvinism was harmful to the revolution and to the idea of internationalism. In November 1922, Lenin had send Felix Dzerzhinsky to Georgia and his report showed that most Georgians were not happy with Soviet rule. Lenin wanted 
Ordzhonikidze expelled from the communist party because of his brutality and Russian chauvinism. Unfortunate Lenin's proposal was rejected and Ordzhonikidze remained a communist party member!

Both Lenin and Trotsky were not able to stop the chauvinist ways of Stalin and his Georgian supporters. Lenin was forced into retirement because of his second stroke in December 1922 and Leon Trotsky had no authorization to remove Ordzhonikidze from power. With Joseph Stalin as general secretary of the Russian Communist Party, he could now enforce Russian dominance of the Caucasus. Lenin saw the danger that Stalin represented and was ready to fight back. Three speeches were made by him in order to defeat Stalin at the political debates in the party. Unfortunate for Lenin he was hit by a third stroke in March 1923. Win-out his voice he could no longer oppose Stalin!

With Lenin's death on 21 January 1924, the only true danger to stalinism died. Stalin and Ordzhonikidze now had free room to do as they pleased in Georgia. Because of their brutality, anticommunist nationalism grew among the Georgians. Soon the anti-Soviet opposition was ready to start a popular uprising. Praised by today's capitalist government of Georgia, the uprising was led by Kakutsa Cholokashvili who opposed Soviet rule since 1921. A member of the nobility by birth and a supporter of capitalist rule, he was the perfect candidate for the anticommunists to rally around!

On 28 August 1924, the uprising began with anticommunist rebels attacking Soviet buildings. The uprising however was not planned very well. West Georgia rose up a day before the rest of the nation. This allowed the Cheka to mobilize all Red Army troops. One Cheka officer made a name for himself during the uprising. Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria was a Georgian and supported the 1921 invasion. He rallied the Cheka behind him and used brutal force in destroying the rebels. The anticommunist uprising lasted only seven days. More then 2.000 anticommunists were killed, the deaths of the Red Army are unknown but could be very high too. Beria was able to crush the uprising and ordered the execution of 10.000 rebels. Because of his brutality he was promoted by Stalin!

Still the general secretary was not powerful enough to start mass killing of his opponents. Members of the Soviet government granted amnesty for many anticommunist rebels and no longer wanted to use brutal force against opponents, this was not liked by Beria. He and his master Stalin had to wait a few more years before the Stalinist takeover was completed. Lavrentiy Beria was made leader of the Communist Party of Georgia in 1934, a move by Stalin to put his supporters on vital positions. By then the USSR was dominated by the stalinists who soon started with mass terror against communists and none-communists alike. 
After Stalin's death, Lavrentiy Beria was arrested and executed for crimes against the Soviet-Union. Ironically he was murdered the same way as many of his victims!

Georgia became a capitalist nation in 1990 and was ruled by corrupt bureaucrats who were not liked by the population. In November 2003 under the influence of the United National Movement, they rose up in what became known as the Rose Revolution. Mikheil Saakashvili took the office of president and promised reforms. His United National Movement is a conservative party and supportive of the USA. The president changed the flag of Georgia, the old banner of the 1918 republic was replaced by a medieval flag used by Georgia in the medieval era. Saakashvili was very anti-Russian and said that that the Russian Federation was still a force of "evil" in the world. Because of that he was supported by western conservatives who love the anti-Russian Saakashvili. He was an ally of George W Bush and supported the occupation of Iraq!

Although Saakashvili was a friend of the USA, the Americans were worried about his volatile behavior. U.S. officials characterize the former Georgian president as difficult to manage. They criticize his risky moves. Moves that have often caught the U.S. unprepared while leaving it exposed diplomatically. Things went from bad to worse when the anti-Russian president choose to attack separatist held provinces of Georgia. Since 1990, rebel separatists were holding the provinces of  South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Georgia had tried to conquer these rebel provinces but failed. Russian forces were supporting the separatists and had stationed peacekeeping forces in the region. On 7 August 2008, Georgian Armed Forces attack Russian and separatist troops in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The war lasted nine days and would result in ethnic cleansing, racial hatred and a wall of lies spread by Saakashvili!

The western world supported the Georgian president, although he started the conflict. Russian imperialism also had an agenda of their own and moved more soldiers to South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russia recognized the independence of the two rebel provinces. President Saakashvili claimed that Russia was the big ''imperialist'' enemy, who wanted to command and conquer all of Georgia. Using the 1921 invasion as a propaganda tool, he was able to rally many nationalists on his side. Most young Georgians supported him, they were the most easy manipulated by the anti-Russian propaganda of Saakashvili. Revolutionary socialists opposed both Russia and Georgia. We did not choose between Russian imperialism or Georgian nationalism. Unfortunate some self-styled socialists choose to support the Kremlin during the short war, because Georgia attacked first
In the end it did not matter because the war was costly and Saakashvili failed to capture the separatist states. South Ossetia and Abkhazia remain de-facto independent of the Georgian government. 171 soldiers and 224 Georgian civilians died for Saakashvili's nationalist attempt to enforce his chauvinistic dreams!

Stalin and his Georgian supporters in 1925

Struggle, Solidarity, Socialism

Struggle, Solidarity, Socialism