I survived the Georgian war. Here's what I saw.
I blame Georgia's leaders.
Tskhinvali, South Ossetia
In a speech before the United Nations last month, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili implored world leaders to set up an international investigation to find out the truth about the war in South Ossetia.
I couldn't agree more. But I think the results of an honest investigation would reveal a very different "truth" than what President Saakashvili claims.
I know this because I was in Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, on Aug. 7 when Georgian troops marched into the city and killed my friends and neighbors. I huddled with my family in terror for three nights while Saakashvili's tanks and rockets destroyed hundreds of our homes, desecrated cemeteries, gutted schools and hospitals.
I also have good reason not to trust what Saakashvili says. For three days before the attack I had been getting calls from many Georgian friends warning me to get out. They said Saakashvili was planning an attack. Most of the Georgians living in South Ossetia left because they knew what was coming.
On the night of Aug. 7, Saakashvili went on television and assured the frightened civilian population of South Ossetia that he would not attack us. This was long after the time Saakashvili now claims Russians had begun "invading" Georgia.
Ossetians went to bed relieved and thankful for a peaceful night.
Less than two hours later, according to credible international accounts, his artillery, bombers, and three brigades of ground troops unleashed what I can only describe as a fierce hell on our city. In the moment, we knew only our fear as we hid. Afterward I spoke with hundreds of Ossetians to find out what was done to us.