Tag Archives: Saakashvili

What’s Going On In Georgia?

President Mikhail Saakashvili, the poster boy for George Bush as what constitutes an effective leader in Asia, is claiming there was an attempted coup to overthrow his government by members of the Georgia military. A tank battalion supposedly rebelled and the president rushed to talk with its members, arrested the commander of the group, and announced another attempt to overthrow the man who believes in democracy has been thwarted. Naturally, Saakashvili accused the Russian government of conspiring to cause the rebellion– a “rebellion of a battalion” which ordinarily is not sufficient to overthrow a government.

Some opposition leaders wonder if there ever was an attempt to overthrow the government or whether this was simply a few disgruntled soldiers who were expressing their frustrations.

Georgians Protest Against Their President

President Saakashvili of Georgia was an admirer of George Bush and attempted to draw upon this friendship to invade South Ossetia last year assuming the United States would support his efforts, particularly if Russia intervened. The result was a complete fiasco and Georgian troops were readily defeated. During the past week, thousands of Georgians have been protesting against the authoritarian rule of Saakashvili and demanding his resignation. But, to the president if anyone opposes his authoritarian rule, they must be in the employ of foreign agents sent from Russia. He made clear, “no matter ow mush is spent and what they might do, Georgia is a stable country.”

The people of Georgia want their president to be held accountable for his failed policies and Russia is not behind the unrest, just thousands of restless Georgians who want a truly democratic society.

Georgian President Warned To Foster Democracy

George Bush has been responsible for fostering many myths about democracy including his claim that Georgian President MIhheil Saakashvili was a defender of a democratic society which was invaded by brutal Russia. The issue as to whether Georgia or Russia initiated the war is still a debate, but there is no doubt Georgia is not a democratic nation. A prominent European think tank said Georgia must follow through with needed economic and political reforms in the coming months. The Brussels based International Crisis Group, said Saakashvili’s administration will “be severely tested politically and economically in the winder and spring ahead.” It charges economic and political liberalism have been thwarted by his authoritarianism and stifling of free speech.

The Georgian opposition is now charging Saakashvili began the war with Russia and insisting democratic reforms are necessary. The Brussels group called for creation of an independent judiciary, elimination of high level corruption and freedom for the media to report the truth, not the government’s view as to what constitutes the truth.

Is Saakashvili Winning Over European Leaders?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quite skeptical about the performance of President Saakashvili in the initial stages of the war in Georgia, but there are some signs he is winning over European leaders. The Georgian president has portrayed himself as a “victim,” as the fighting leader of democracy against the evil brutal Prime Minister Putin of Russia and as a hero to all Europeans. He insists all European leaders who visited him like President Sarkozy of France or Chancellor Merkel of Germany “all perfectly understand the situation here.” Is his evaluation an accurate one?

Chancellor Merkel followed events on CNN and other TV channels and her initial reaction was Saakashvili had blundered by attacking South Ossetia and that he was an impulsive man who took bold risks that were out of place in modern times. However, once Russian troops entered the war, her attitude changed. She flew to Georgia and was soon photographed with the president and uttered warm words of support. Somehow, Saakashvili used his charm or his intelligence to win over the German chancellor who has no become a leading advocate of Georgia membership in NATO.

In the end, Chancellor Merkel is supporting Georgia’s membership in NATO but not until the nation is a true democracy and he agrees to behave more rationally and avoid future war actions in the region.

The Day After In Georgia And South Ossetia

Matt Siegel, reporting for the New Statesman, found exhausted doctors working in the South Ossetia General Hospital in Tskhnvali. A week ago there were wounded civilians and bloody surgical gloves lying in heaps in corridors of the hospital. Dr. Tinati Zakhorova, angrily commented: “This is the fourth genocide against the Ossetian people by the Georgians. How can we go back to living under them?” The real mystery about events in South Ossetian and Georgia is who was involved in planning the initial attack and to what extent is their culpability on the part of President Bush in events that occurred in these sad lands? Siegel met many South Ossetians who believe fervently they need the support of Russia in order to survive against the Georgians. They believe without Russian soldiers their country would have disappeared.

Siegel found evidence of Georgian artillery attacks on the capital. On the other hand when Siegel visited the Georgian city of Gori the exact opposite view was expressed. People wanted Americans, not Russians. Sasha Berdizee, expressed the view of many when he admitted “Misha made a mistake” in referring to President Saakashvili. There is realization Georgia is a tiny country bordering on a powerful Russia which will not tolerate a hostile regime so close to its land.

Rough Times In Georgia-The Country, Not The State

Georgia’s former Defense Minister, Irakli Okruashvili, claimed that President Mikhell Saakashvili of Georgia, had instructed him to kill a businessman who opposed the president as well as take hostile action against a member of the opposition party in parliament. “I immediately realized it was a trap: if the order was fulfilled, they would later kill me.” He also claimed a former prime minister whose body was found in a friend’s apartment had been killed elsewhere. A spokesperson for the government of Georgia derided Okruashvili’s statements as those of a man who is “out of his mind.”

Standing on the outside and not that knowledgeable of affairs in Georgia, it is difficult to make a judgment about these claims. Where there’s smoke, is there fire?