Blind Spot

### Reader’s Letter to The Guardian, 28th May 2024 ###
*** Lili Bayer, Azerbaijan, Georgia, EU ***

Dear Editor,

The Guardian (e.g. Lili Bayer, Europe Live, The Guardian, 28th May 2024) has been reporting on the unrest in Georgia with most of the reports accompanied by pictures of masses of Georgian, EU and combined Georgia/EU flags being waved.

Indeed, I certainly agree that the proposed “Foreign Agents Law” (the cause of the protests) does sound very oppressive.

But, interestingly, the Guardian also reported on Azerbaijan “stirring up tension” in New Caledonia (Report, The Guardian, 17th May 2024, link below) with the Azerbaijan flag appearing (e.g. on T-Shirts).

In the reports on Georgia (by the Guardian and elsewhere) I noticed how “new” the flags were: On many of them you could still see the folds which meant they were not long out of their packets. And there were also combined “Georgia/EU” flags with someone in Brussels obviously having gone to a lot of trouble to produce those.

So don’t we have a bit of a blind-spot here: It’s OK for the EU to stir things up in Georgia … but not for Azerbaijan to do exactly that in New Caledonia?

Unfortunately I would say that the EU’s actions (supplying crate-loads of flags and I-don’t-know-what-else) helps to prove that the oppressive laws being proposed in Georgia as somehow justified.

And here we need to ask ourselves what else the EU has been up to: In Georgia? in Moldova? in Ukraine? Yes, a lot of people have died … and potentially a lot more could die! So what role are “aggressive expansionism” and subversive soft-power (from the EU as well as from Russia) playing in this big mess?

I think we need to open our eyes a little!

PS: And then the EU is going into the elections this June trumpeting its “peace-credentials”: Somehow that is not at all credible!

Yours,
Alan Mitcham

Link to article on New Caledonia: https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/may/17/new-caledonia-riots-explainer-azerbaijan-flags-noumea-link


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